Even as brands and companies fight hard to maintain their market shares and be on top of the mind of consumers, reputation or goodwill of the consumers is a factor that is increasingly gaining importance.
Public relations firms play a vital role in managing the reputation of a company, brand or individual.
Explaining the role of PR agencies in managing reputation, R D’Souza, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Godrej Industries remarked, “There are two things that keep CEOs awake all the time – talent and reputation. Reputation is as important as profits. To succeed as a business, you need somebody to anchor your product or service, somebody who can engage with the customers and manage the reputation of the company.”
According to Devdarshan Chakrabortyy, Dean, PRCIMS, there are certain key points PR firms need to consider while building a brand’s reputation. These include identifying the various tools and communication that need to be followed, the media mix, the stakeholders who need to be engaged, and appointing a key person who is authorised to speak on behalf of the company and knows what to speak.
Managing reputation of brands and companies is as challenging as managing reputation of individuals, especially celebrities. Giving an insight into celebrity reputation management, Atul Kasbekar, Chairman and Managing Director, Bling said that people identify movie stars strongly with the characters they enact on the screen and project those characteristics on to their favourite stars in real life as well. In case, the actors deviate from those characteristics, people reject the stars, thus making it all the more challenging to manage reputation of celebrities, because they are seen in a particular light.
“There are two things which build reputation – focus and discipline,” remarked Sidharth Singh, EVP Sales, Glaxosmithkline. He further said that often people think of reputation management only when some crisis is already upon them. He urged brands and companies to be consistent while working on their reputation and start early.
The above mentioned industry experts shared their views on ‘Reputation Management’ at the PRestival 2012 conference, held in Jaipur on November 16-17.