How Does Public Relations Counsel Impact Reputation? 3 Ways
One of the main reasons companies hire a public relations agency is to provide strategic communications counsel to senior management on a variety of issues, many of which can affect their reputation. These may include brand positioning, the timing and content of business announcements, crisis communication, alliance/partner development, social media and speechwriting. Critical thinking and years of experience in dealing with such matters helps us analyze different scenarios and develop recommendations that make sense for the business while carrying the least amount of risk to a company’s reputation. Here are 3 ways PR counsel/decisions can influence an organization’s reputation in the short and long term.
Outside Perspective: It’s common, even for savvy business leaders, to get tunnel vision because they are so enmeshed in a particular situation or in the day-to-day goings on of their organization. This is prevalent in every business, which is why outside PR counsel can provide an enlightening viewpoint. This fresh perspective can literally shine the light on communications issues – how well a company is communicating (or not) with its target audiences- that may be unseen or forthcoming.
Timing and Distribution of News: Does your company want to position itself as an industry leader or remain under the radar? Either way, strategic decisions should be made about how to approach news and business developments that will affect how the company is perceived by key targets and how it stands up to competitors. For example, should a strategic alliance or partnership be announced to the public at large or more narrow target audience? If so, how should the partnership be described? When should the announcement be made? Does the news warrant a press release and if so, how will that be distributed?
Further, there are circumstances and breaking news in every industry that may or may not require a timely response via media interview or an op-ed or social media commentary. The way in which these situations are handled can have an immediate and direct affect on company reputation.
Crisis Management: Every organization has to at some point, grapple with serious issues and crises, both internal and external that can, in a compressed timeframe, affect their reputation and industry standing. Being able to anticipate and prepare for a variety of potential situations puts the organization in a more powerful position to respond in a proactive manner. This includes having a well-thought out crisis communication plan in place which outlines sample responses to common situations from Acts of God to stock prices, quality issues, personnel debacles and more.
Has your company sought public relations counsel out of concern for maintaining its reputation?