Quantify your reputation
By Jirimiko Oranen, CEO, T-Media Relations
A significant body of recent research indicates that reputation has become a major business driver. As such, it requires attention and investment, for instance, in governance, innovation, CSR, HR, and integrated marketing.
Now, all investments in business-critical operations should be measured. Why then, investments in reputation often are not tied up to clear metrics?
Beats me. Totally.
In fact, I urge you to KPI your corporate reputation just like you would any part of a business.
Doing this will give you a sense of direction, an indication of which constituents are building up your reputation, and which are pulling it down.
Furthermore, reputation metrics will drive execution in communications, marketing, stakeholder relations, and other areas. Metrics will give you an indication of how well the whole value chain that contributes to your reputation capital is doing its job.
There is a caveat, though.
The problem with many reputation metrics is that a) they do not explain or predict stakeholder behaviour, and b) they entirely miss the link to financial returns. What good are KPIs that do not tell you whether customers, partners or policy makers are going to support your business?
A good set of metrics dissects the reputation of your organization, shows the impact on stakeholder support, and tells you on which areas of reputation you need to work to grow your business.
Another benefit of reputation KPIs is that you get visibility into return on investment. In fact, assessing the financial returns of reputation programmes is pretty much like strategic value assessment of businesses. Yes, with both, the complexity of variables means that we are dealing with approximations. But it does not make the exercise any less worthwhile. A good quantitative approximation beats best guesses any day.
When you start quantifying reputation it feels as if you had been driving a car on a dark, winding road, without headlights. Then you switch the lights on. Suddenly, you see the road ahead.
How to get started? Our advice: engage reputation advisors with a business pedigree. And present them with the request, ’Show me the money.’
At this point, they are not supposed to flinch.
Want to know more? Please, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +358 40 756 6655.