Reputation management is gaining more visibility in Zimbabwe, and more brand conversations about reputation management are taking place. However, there are still common myths and misconceptions about what reputation management is or isn’t. Here are three reputation management myths to clear the air:
Myth 1: Reputation management is one practice, and it cannot be defined.
Reputation management is an umbrella under which there are many practices. Put simply, reputation management is an approach to influencing the reputation of a brand amongst its audiences and stakeholders. It includes various strategies including public relations, stakeholder engagement, crisis management and social PR. Outcomes from engaging reputation management can be intangible- such as strengthened relationships, or tangible- such as increased sales. Many strategic tactics form part of reputation management.
Myth 2: You should apply Reputation management as a band aid when things go wrong.
Reputation management is not a reactionary approach that comes into motion only when a brand is in crisis. Reputation management is a strategic approach that should be interwoven into a brand’s operations every day. In so doing the brand identifies and mitigates reputational risk, and minimises damage when a crisis does arise. Reputation management is not a panic button for cleaning up a mess. Rather, it furthers an organisation’s goals and increases its impact even in “good” times.
Myth Reputation management is a tool for brands who don’t want to be genuine.
At its core, reputation management is concerned with finding ways to strategically connect brands with their desired audiences. Reputations are built on meeting stakeholder expectations consistently, and they fall apart when brands fail to walk the talk. Effective reputation management is not about helping brands to pretend to be who they are not. Rather, it is about aligning the brand and its goals to the publics they desire, by fulfilling and addressing their needs and concerns.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants.