Way beyond spin: the new reputation era

A great webinar this week presented by the Reputation Institute, on their latest global survey to find the world’s most reputable companies.

It really highlighted that reputation is now a huge driver of business value with a direct impact on the bottom line.

While most survey respondents agreed we are now operating in the Reputation Economy  - where who you are matters more than what you do or sell – only a small percentage said they were ready to take advantage of it.

You might wonder how that’s possible, when so much is spent on various forms of marketing, PR and issues management and so much is said about corporate social responsibility, quality and so forth. 

It’s because most organisations – regardless of whether they’re government, business or not-for-profit – haven’t yet made the mind shift into the Reputation Economy.

As one webinar speaker put it, “it’s now about telling your company story, rather than just pushing products." Your stakeholders – not only your customers but everyone impacted by or impacting your organisation – are looking for consistency across three touchpoints:

  • Their own experience
  • What you say about your organisation
  • What others say about you

I like to call this your “business body language”. Reputation doesn’t just come from your own communications, marketing or spin. It emanates from the very core of your organisation; what you stand for and how you behave, and how that translates into the experiences of everyone who crosses your organisation’s path – both directly and indirectly.

This heralds a new role for those traditionally tasked with “promoting” the organisation’s reputation. As the webinar speakers discussed this week, communications professionals are no longer the mouth pieces for companies; they are now the Chief Reputation Officer, with a responsibility to facilitate a new, integrated approach to reputation across the organisation.

Exciting times, and great opportunities for those who embrace this era of reputation. You’ll find the best of them in the Reputation Institute survey report.

Those who don’t will pay a hefty price. As one speaker put it: “Where there is no substance, there will be no reputation.”