In business very little is left to chance; we manage our finances, we manage our production processes, we manage our personnel, and the list goes on. So why do so many organisations choose not to manage their reputation?
Too many businesses allow the perception of their business to be formed haphazardly in the minds of prospects and customers, where it remains until something happens to alter it, for good or ill.
Meanwhile, the single most effective tool for building an accurate perception in a target audience is at hand. It forms opinions, shapes perceptions and manages the bumps in the road. What is that tool? Simple, it’s public relations.
Perhaps it’s thought to be just a tool for the big businesses, those that lobby governments, those that operate in the public sector, or those with enormous egos that need to see their name in the headlines.
Maybe it’s because, whilst it is increasingly a measurable discipline, pr is less readily measured than the instant gratification metrics of clicks, likes and follows, which are available in other media channels. But easy does not always equate to effective and this is where pr comes in; it is the single most effective way to manage what others see, think and understand about your organisation. It is key to building a positive reputation.
And reputation is a combination of what you say, what you do and how others perceive you. It’s far more nuanced than that but it’s a good start. All three of these factors are within your control to manage, or not; the choice is yours.
However, too few spend time and budget testing and understanding what their prospects and clients feel about them. How each one perceives an organisation will affect how they behave towards it, do they use its services regularly, do they seek out specific products, or would they pay a premium?
Being perceived in the desired way by prospects and customers is best not left to chance. But, ultimately, it simply comes down to whether you want others to form a perception of your organisation independently or whether you want to take control of the process and work to influence that perception.
Download 'Mind the Gap' our guide to getting started on perception management: