Why Strategic PR should be your NUMBER ONE Consideration in Reputation Management

A brand identity does not end with logos, colours, messaging or design. There is one critical component and single most powerful brand identity tool that determines the public perception about your brand and their decision to associate with you. This tool is reputation.

Reputation is debatably the single most treasured organizational asset. It is also an important determinant of the company’s success and sustainability in the market. A positive reputation accelerates organizational success while a negative reputation destroys an organization. This is the main reason why every organization must put things in place and ensure they constantly manage their reputation and keep it on check.

Reputation refers to collective images perceived by key stakeholders while reputation management can be defined as the process of monitoring a company’s goodwill in the market to keeps track of any negative news about the firm. Due to the advent of internet that has led to swift dissemination of information and the cut-throat competition prevailing in the modern market, organizations are prone to instant reputational damage. This is the point at which public relations (PR) and reputation management come to play. Where there is a reputation management issue, public relations cannot be overlooked. Afterall, reputation management was a PR term but due to penetration of the internet, it got a separate standing.

PR is the single most important discipline that takes care of a corporate reputation. It manages reputation by communicating and building good relationship with key stakeholders. PR maximizes the exposure of companies in the market by giving them valuable media coverage and by establishing seamless connection with their customers. Its main objective is to inform both internal and external stakeholders of the organization activities or any fundamental information related to the company; all aimed at transforming the image of the organization in the eye of the public. This is an indication that PR plays a notable role in managing the corporate reputation of a company. Hence, the role of PR in reputation management cannot be disregarded.

Public Relations involves organising effective communication campaigns, maintaining good media relations and generally promoting the company through blogs, newspaper or magazine articles and social media updates. By mitigating strategic risks and creating an atmosphere of loyalty, honesty and credibility, PR assists companies in improving their stained image. Moreover, public relations helps firms in attaining an advantage over their competitors by tracking and controlling the negative-earned media and employing positive media to renew and rebuild their reputation. It positions and repositions the brand and increases media visibility, giving mileage to the company’s publicity needs, thus, propagating an excellent organizational image.

It is worth noting that reputation management has to be strategic; it cannot be guessed or turned to trial and error. Poor reputation management can result in companies losing their credibility and worth in the market. As a result, businesses are now engaging Public Relations Experts or Consultancy Firms, who understand what exactly needs to be done, to build, retain and manage their reputation in the intensively-competitive environment. PR consultancy firms or experts takes care of everything; from developing reputation PR strategies to executing those strategies to monitoring results. Firms such as Commken Afrique that specializes in strategic PR and multi-channeled communication strategies and programs can easily move your brand to the right spot and help eliminate guesswork on how best to manage your brand image.