The importance of reputation

In the financial industry one’s good name is crucially important; the value of a reputation for integrity there cannot be over-estimated.

This has been true since the beginning of history. For instance, the Bible says “A good name is rather to be chosen than riches.”

Many observers may consider an emphasis on reputation to be unimportant but that is a mistake. Some organizations incorrectly believe that a reputation may be a “strategic asset” that can be changed by leveraging.

The Reputation Institute, management consultants, wrote about the influence of managing reputations. Despite the fact that it did not spell out exactly how this can be accomplished, but it reiterated that, “we live in nothing less than a reputation economy.”

Several other groups offered recommendations to improve reputations. There is an association in the United States that provides people with advice on managing reputations, such as how to achieve a more favourable Google rating and the means to minimize negative sentiments.

One can see readily why companies are so eager to latch on to a good reputation.

The worth of a brand name certainly is the result of something rather intangible. Few can know much about a company’s factories, but the value of the output often is pre-determined by the public’s regard for the company.

The trashing of a company can occur and almost be ruinous.

Complaints about contaminated meat nearly destroyed Schneider Foods. It took time and stern measures to restore the good name of the business.

Pharmaceutical companies above all must make every effort to guarantee the safety of their product line, as adverse reports could be disastrous. Television anchor Dan Rather had to resign because it was claimed he unjustly besmirched President George W. Bush’s early career in the Air National Guard. It is surprising that tobacco companies appear to survive and thrive in spite of the terrible opinions of their products.

 Public relations specialists try to put forward the best possible view of a company by boosting claims about its social responsibility, hoping this results in a favourable attitude towards the company, and consequently, its products.

Care must be taken, however, in any manoeuvres aimed at improving a company’s reputation, as strenuous efforts may be counter-productive; the public may see through obvious ploys.

 Sponsorship of a sports team may win brownie points in the short term, but may not be the best way to build a resilient business. Most successful companies have been notable for their intense focus on their core business, rather than indulging in public relations moves.

 Instead of a public relations program, there should be greater emphasis on producing superior goods and services. Then, the company’s reputation is sure to follow.


Bruce Whitestone