Saving Face: Why reputation management is crucial to business

Learn how to manage your reputation effectively.

Reputation shapes how the public perceives an individual or business—a positive reputation leads to trust, credibility and opportunities, whereas a negative one can impact relationships and hinder success. 

We’re each in charge of our own narrative and ensuring our image accurately reflects our values and actions. Those in leadership have the added responsibility to be mindful of how their personal image is reflective of their organization. 

In times of crisis, or when your character is questioned, how do you react? Here are some ways both organizations and its leaders can ensure that in the best of times—and in the worst of times—your reputation remains intact.

Monitor your online presence. In the 90’s, Freedy Johnston sang about his bad reputation, and how it wasn’t “just talk, talk, talk.” But, it is important in the world of social media and armchair journalism to stay on top of what people are saying. You’ll want to monitor your channels and keep an eye out for critics or detractor groups sharing information in their circles that paints you or your organization in a negative light. 

Respond promptly. The world came to a standstill when Princess Diana passed away in 1997, and many were surprised when the Queen didn’t issue a response about the passing until five days later. Though that may seem reasonable given the family’s need to process, the silence spoke volumes to fans and followers and led the public to assert the matriarch didn’t care. Acknowledging an issue immediately, even with just basic information, shows you’re aware and taking action.

Maintain transparency. Oftentimes, negative perception stems from misinformation and mistrust and can be resolved by giving a peek behind the scenes. Depending on the nature of your business, consider an open-door policy, especially to the media and other influencers with the power to shape public opinion. If this isn’t feasible for your organization due to factors like confidentiality, think of other ways you may still be able to pull back the curtain and show your audience you have nothing to hide. 

Build relationships. Outside of other leaders within your business, identify ambassadors at every level who can advocate for your brand and enhance your reputation. Sometimes, information is better received from peers or unbiased third parties than from top-down.

Be agile. It’s okay to admit if something isn’t working. By continuously monitoring your reputation and adjusting strategies, you can address emerging issues or shifts in perception head-on.

A good reputation doesn’t happen overnight but can be destroyed by one moment. By working with trusted partners who have their best interests at heart, a business can build (and maintain) its reputation for years to come. Do you need help with your company’s reputation? Drop us a line at hello@slidenine.