Over the past few months I’ve been working on a new book – The Reputation Game – with Peter Roper as my co-author. This is due out at the end of January 2013 and it’s been an interesting journey, not least because we’ve talked to companies of different sizes to understand better how they manage their reputations.
The people we’ve talked to represent different types of organisation and they’ve been selected for a variety of reasons.
We talked to Kevin Gaskell, an independent entrepreneur who speaks professionally and offers consultancy to organisation that want to excel. Kevin says “Your reputation will be formed by the consistent alignment of your presentation and behaviour with your chosen product and brand values. This consistency and coherence will help to build your credibility and your audience’s confidence in your overall product or service.”
Representing a small business, we looked at a fast-growing SME – Estuary Logistics. Managing Director, James Circus explains, “I employ like-minded people, who understand what I’m aiming for and embrace that way of doing business. The highest level of customer service is not something you can stick on; people have to think that way. I only employ people who are excited about giving that service.”
At corporate level Inchcape Fleet Solutions have to take into account that every part of the Inchcape Group can be affected by anything said or done by any other part of the organisation. “Inchcape are exploring social media carefully to ensure that corporate social media usage is planned and done well. The intention is to use it to engage with customers and as part of the organisation’s marketing, but with so many divisions it will have to be managed and the necessary resources developed,” says Paul Serrell-Cooke, Programme Change Manager.
Not forgetting the not-for-profit, social enterprise companies we talked to Essex Air Ambulance. Chief Executive Officer, Jane Gurney commented “The more I’ve seen, the more I’ve learned. I’ve noticed other people get into situations that have affected their reputation, without even realising it’s happening to them. It makes me reflect on how we’re seen and to have things in place to ensure we can deal with any issues well.”
Although each of our chosen case studies is a different size of organisation and their perspectives are different, the advice is excellent and can be applied to organisations of any size. Whether online or offline great reputations are not an accident.