We are well over three months into the year. This is the perfect time for companies to do a check on their 2018 resolutions and goals. Did your company make any key resolutions for this year and is the organisation well on its way to making sure that these are achieved?
Reputation management should certainly be on the resolutions list and recent corporate crises can attest to that.
If it isn’t, fear not, there is still plenty of time to get this right.
Some organisations may think that the saying “your company is as good as its reputation” is a cliché, but no saying has ever rung so true. A company’s reputation is not just about how it looks to outsiders. Companies know that reputation management is important in maintaining a company’s good name, but many do not understand just how vital it is in every element of the organisation.
Most companies do not know what the first step is, after making the decision to put reputation management tools in place. So, if you are going to start, let these top three be priority:
1. Make reputation management a part of your overall company strategy
Reputation management should form part of every company’s overall plans and activities and should not be seen as separate. Overall alignment is key and will ensure that preparation is done and plans are put in place. Start by conducting research into the company and review what the current perception of your organisation is. The results of this research will reveal what the pain points are, where improvement is required and of course where the company is doing well. This will inform the reputation management strategy and what activities are required.
2. Your employees are your company’s ambassadors, train them well
Employees should be walking billboards of the companies they work for, and to ensure that they represent the company positively at all times, regular and consistent training is key. Do your employees know what the strategy and targets for the company are? Do they know the company vision and mission statements? Do they know what the company culture is? These are critical boxes that should be ticked for each and every employee within the company, from the receptionist to the sales executive and all the way through to the head of the department. Ensure that information and quick references are readily available and accessible to all employees. Remember, buy-in is key and one way to achieve this is to make sure that employees are informed.
3. Pay attention to your online reputation
In the past few months there have been many social media blunders by corporates, enough to convince any company that online reputation management cannot be taken for granted. Companies have learnt the hard way that one negative, offensive or ill-considered post on any social media platform can be enough to cause huge dents on your bottom-line. Investing in your company’s online reputation is very important. Put an online reputation management strategy in place, with a content plan. And most importantly, have a social media policy in place with dos and don’ts clearly outlined.
These may seem like small steps’, but they are guaranteed to ensure that your organisation’s reputation can be sustained!
Seasoned communications professional, Kgomotso Moalusi, is executive director of client centricity and media at Vuma Reputation Management.