Managing a corporation’s reputation is no small task in today’s often complicated world of instant online communications. The internet and social media sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn – not to mention the myriad of blogs and traditional media, makes the process of monitoring and managing a corporate reputation a formidable task that requires a serious strategic investment of time and budget, not to mention, proactive planning.
Many experts are of the same mindset: if a corporation assigns a dedicated and cross-functional reputation management team, risks can be managed and mitigated more easily. If that team is not in place – reacting to a crisis may well be more-costly and harmful to the company’s reputation and even bottom-line. CR magazine reports, “… since risks can emerge from any area, a variety of perspectives is ideal for identifying and addressing reputational risk.” This can include the PR and marketing teams but also departments such as security, legal, finance, quality control and much more.
Given the complicated platform in managing a corporate reputation, the 2016 Reputational Risk Report by Standing Partnership and Edison Research and as reported by The CR (Corporate Responsibility Magazine), surveyed 1,000 executives to get their thoughts in owning, managing and monitoring risk management. There were some interesting results:
- The Report found 78 percent of executives believe their corporation does “an excellent job of building and managing its reputation.”
- Only 53% percent gave similar grades to the organization for identifying risks
- The report said that 28-percent of executives believe that the responsibility of reputation management should fall to the president/CEO.
- Many organizations reported back that they have multiple teams responsible for risk management.
- An interesting find showed that most respondents (71%) said their company handles reputational risk without seeking outside counsel. However, the same executives also said that “introducing a third party to conduct a reputational risk audit can ensure a more accurate scan by avoiding the blur of bias.”
The Reputational Risk Report also measured the attitudes of the CEO and COO regarding the function and the reliability of reputational management teams.
- The survey found CEOs are more optimistic than their COOs regarding the company’s risk management strategies. For instance, 79% of CEOs were positive about their corporation’s ability to handle reputational risk versus 65% of COOs.
- When it came to preventing risk, 68% of CEOs were satisfied with their teams’ efforts versus 51% of COOs.
- Most interestingly, 44% of COOs do not think their company is spending enough time and resources on reputation management.
Finally, the Reputational Risk Report also found that attitudes about risk management can vastly change depending on how often a company has found themselves under the fun with a true reputational risk. The Reputational Risk Report, found those who dealt with reputational issue in the past are a great deal more aggressive about monitoring (72%) than those who haven’t had problems (44%). As CR magazine reports, “Monitoring of issues affecting your business and industry can prevent surprises – or even create the opportunity to mitigate risks ahead of the rest of your industry.”