“There’s No Escape”: Reputation Management

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Responsible business
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Many of you visiting this site are coming from an activist / NGO point of view. You may well be of the view that corporations are evil incarnate and the source of all the world’s woes. I’m not of that view personally, I think companies do considerably more good than harm. I might return to this in a later post but for now let me just use the ‘global village’ itself as an illustration. How is it that today’s generation has such respectful views of people in other countries? Because they can see them and talk to them so easily. For that, you can thank Boeing for inventing the 747 and you can thank Facebook and Google for letting you know what far-flung people are doing.

Having said that, the opposing view, that “the business of business is business” has become untenable. Bad publicity will hurt companies’ bottom line, and they know it. The underlying reason, it’s nice to know, is that consumers really don’t like buying products tainted by unethical business practices. This is heartening news for cause-related organisations who hold companies to account.

Here are two real powerpoint presentations delivered to company PR departments. Neither of them encourages companies to stonewall or ‘play the man’ or engage in other dirty tricks. They actually recommend that the company engage with groups who are pointing out their shortcomings – of any kind, not just labour rights.

They don’t even need to have a high-minded motivation; the simple fact is bad PR hurts the bottom line as customers go elsewhere.

The key slides are #15 in the first presentation and #13 in the second.

  1. […] “There’s No Escape”: Reputation Management 9 February 2011 […]

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