Corporate reputation and trust are a company’s most important assets, and must be handled carefully. That is especially true today, as corporate leaders operate in a tumultuous global business environment, face an increasingly demanding set of well-informed stakeholders, and grapple with the latest stage of the digital revolution.
Managing one’s reputation in this new environment requires companies to respond adeptly to a litany of potentially dangerous issues and disruptions while staying focused on their long-term growth and market goals. While there are numerous risks to consider in this environment, there are also substantial rewards. Beyond safeguarding a reputation, the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer findings reveal that businesses acquire a greater license to operate as they expand their mission and create more meaningful relationships [source]. By identifying a company’s assets and weaknesses in the realm of trust, we help corporations uncover, define, exemplify and amplify their authentic identity in ways that resonate with stakeholders and inspire support of their business mission.
Edelman works with companies to earn this license to lead. Our approach to building holistic trust and reputation management starts with benchmarking attitudes and opinions and indexing the strength of relationships among critical stakeholder groups—employees, partners, suppliers, customers, investors, regulators, legislators, NGOs, news media, community leaders and the general public. And then we bring business together with society to help forge critical changes.
Elements of our strategy include:
- Developing a research-driven positioning strategy recommending actions that resonate with key stakeholders;
- Crafting compelling, rigorously-tested language that articulates this positioning;
- Creating a message architecture to align leaders around consistent messaging;
- Executing communications programs which ensure that executive positioning, internal communications, stakeholder engagement and media relations all tell a consistent story.
We use this comprehensive, integrated approach when we are positioning a CEO as an industry thought leader, driving an important change initiative through the workforce, managing mergers and restructurings, dealing with a crisis or facilitating dialogue with community groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
For more information about our capabilities in reputation management, please contact Ben Boyd.