Managing Corporate Reputation: What senior executives need to know

Best Practice Guide

If reputational risk is a top strategic risk, why don’t business leaders take it more seriously?

When it comes to corporate reputation management, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Corporate reputation derives from a company’s fundamental organizational activities. As such, it lies at the very crux of business value, implicating every department in reputation risk management.

That’s not all. Reputation is the baseline companies need to maintain in order to remain viable, especially companies with a strategic customer focus. But sustaining a healthy baseline isn’t easy. In the last few years in particular, indicators have shown that the corporate reputation risk environment has only gotten more hostile to business.

For starters, social channels now constitute the primary informational market on which corporate reputation is traded. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Those online reviews impact roughly two thirds of all purchasing decisions.

In addition, analysts have also picked up on a persistent erosion of trust in business and business leaders, catalyzed by the financial crisis. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, only 52 percent of people said they trusted businesses to do the right thing. If that weren’t bad enough, last year 63 percent of people said that CEOs are not at all or somewhat credible, a 12-point drop from the year prior.

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