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Home / Expertise / Sectors / Reputation Management

Reputation Management

Our specialist communications team can help you build, manage and protect your reputation.

Sectors and Services
Sectors

The Importance Of Reputation
The value of a good reputation should never be under- estimated. Whether it is your personal reputation or that of an organisation you work with, represent, or own, a good reputation offers many significant benefits.

For an organisation, a good reputation can deliver improved sales, better fundraising and staff input, retention and commitment.
For an individual, it can bring work opportunities and enhanced networks. It also offers protection if things go wrong.
If you have a reputation that is known, trusted and valued then you are better able to protect yourself against the spotlight of the media, social media or politicians.
Those around you, employees, local communities, donors and other stakeholders will also be more likely to stand up to speak for you and defend you.
Once damaged, a reputation can take years of effort and resources to rebuild. But by taking some simple and straightforward steps, you can put the processes in place to protect you and your family.

Understand your starting position

Without a clear appreciation of what your current reputation is and where the ‘weak spots’ are, you cannot hope to make any necessary repairs. You can only design an action plan based on information. It needs an honest assessment but is well worth the effort.

This should also include looking at any organisations you are involved with. Whether you are a school governor, charity trustee, the member of a Board or volunteer with an organisation, their reputation and the way they handle themselves can impact on you.

It is no longer possible to live and work in separate and distinct worlds.

Proactive Engagement

Consider whether you have a sufficiently developed network of contacts. Contacts can help provide insight and information which you can consider that allow informed decisions about you and any organisations you are involved in. The more contacts know and understand you, the more robust your reputation will be.

Be Prepared

There can always be the possibility of a crisis hitting. This can take many forms but often results in media interest and sometimes political interest. The best way to protect you and your reputation is to have a plan already in place and a team ready to support you. That team should be able to help you handle inquiries wherever they come from and protect your reputation. There may be legal issues involved as well so make sure your team includes all the experts you may need.

Update the plan regularly with contact details and make sure the plan is easily to hand: you never know when a crisis can occur.

Social Media

If you or your family are active on social media then what you – and they – say and do there is as important as what is said to the media. Think back as well. Historic social media activity can easily be found. Social media can also be an early warning system for potential issues. Having monitoring systems in place for all media is highly recommended. Even setting up a Google Alert for your name is a good basic starting point.

A key feature of my work is understanding the not for profit and public sectors within their wider political and public contexts. Stuart’s public affairs blog offers those key insights, often from an a”ngle that I don’t see explored elsewhere.

James Kirkland, Marketing and business Development, Grant Thornton

Control The Message

Avoiding knee-jerk reactions and statements at all times is critical. It is all too easy to overreact and take criticism personally. Don’t be tempted to do that. Instead, have the systems in place to ensure that comments cannot ‘emerge’ or be made ‘off-the-cuff’ without proper consideration. Don’t become your own worst enemy.
This is particularly important if what you say could impact on others. They could react and respond and that will only maintain the interest of the media and make the issue even more of a story.

Take Advice

Always take a breath and advice before doing anything. Any decisions about reputation should not be the preserve of a tightly knit group of people, ‘the usual suspects’ all
of who have a similar view of the world. Be prepared to bring in fresh thinking and perspectives. This may mean bringing in outside help, but it is really about the ability
to think through the issue and ensure some perspective
is brought to it. For issues impacting on personal lives this ‘detached’ perspective can be difficult to hear but will mean you are better able to defend your reputation.

Reputation protection can be complex and challenging but if you follow these steps and put some processes in place then you will be better prepared.

GET IN TOUCH

BDB Pitmans is a leading UK law firm with offices in London, Cambridge, Reading and Southampton. Many of our lawyers and advisers are recognised leaders in their practice areas – their knowledge and expertise helps us to provide a unique, client centred approach to law.

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You can never stop learning in public affairs, so I always read Stuart’s blog which contains a wealth of excellent insight, strategic advice and practical tips.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, Railway Industry Association

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