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Corporate Affairs Academy

The Reputation Game Q&A

During a recent online session, Rupert Younger spoke at length about reputation and the importance of maintaining this aspect of your professional life. Following the Q&A part of the session, Rupert has kindly taken time to answer the questions not addressed at the time. You can listen to the session recording, and find below his insights on the questions posed:
 
Q)     It’s said that it takes years to make a reputation and only a few seconds to lose it forever. What is your advice on how one can maintain a good/positive reputation all the time?     
 
Reputation engagement is about narrowing the gap between perceptions and reality.  So if you want a good reputation all the time, you need to behave well, be engaged with and respectful of the networks that you operate through and with, and make sure that your narrative is authentic. Importantly, having a good (authentic) reputation may also be one where you openly admit to and engage with your deficiencies as an organisation or individual.       
                       
Q)     Would you agree that where behaviours closely match the brand narrative both the reputation and brand become more closely linked and the reputation capital and brand equity grow simultaneously?   
 
Yes, I do.          
                                               
Q)     How would breaking the 'law of silence' on problems seen inside an organisation likely impact its reputation?       
 
This is a critical and pressing issue for anyone concerned with reputation engagement.  Self discovery and open discussion around potential issues are critical to any process of solving the problem and dealing with the reputation outcomes that will inevitably emerge.                   
                                                                           
Q)     Do we need to use different narratives for diferent kind of social media, say Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or should it be consistent irrespective of the media? E.g. do posting selfies with celebrities on social media convey the same message?     
 
The core message needs to be consistent - any major inconsistency will be spotted and will provoke confusion or skepticism. But you can (and should) be mindful of the nuances that are appropriate to the different types of media that you engage with - whether that be brevity (Twitter) or imagery (Snapchat).         
                                                            
Q)     How can you measure your reputation?        
 
This is a big subject. There are many providers who purport to offer the answer. In our view, the smart way to think about measurement is by stakeholder: for example, measuring your political reputation may be achieved by looking through Hansard to measure the frequency of mention (a measure of intensity) and also the positive/negative content.     
 
Q)     Assuming that the distinction between a brand and a reputation holds true, how do you think investment analysts should capture the value represented by reputation as opposed to brand value which is already being quantified?        
 
Investment analysts can best think about reputation for something with someone.  This then links into either the positive (revenue, margin) assumptions or the negative (crisis protection and recovery) risk parameters depending on the stakeholder. For example, a government outsourcing company with bad political reputations will most likely have its valuation impacted through some assessment of the risk (beta) and also the revenue/margin impacts.
 
Learn more from Rupert

We offer two executive programmes that focus on reputation within the organisation, led by Rupert Younger. Please get in touch with Michelle Ward to find out more.