Was reputation more important before the 21st century?

Ok, trick question… Maintaining reputation is today more important than ever!

According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Reputation is “the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you.”

In today’s media landscape, issues can arise easily for organisations and sometimes out of the blue. It’s unlikely for any organisation to never have to worry about maintaining reputation or facing issues/crises. Social media is a dominant factor in this. Everybody is aware that the consumer has a voice now, this voice can be deadly to an organisation if the experience of their customers is anything short of a positive one.

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In the current digital era, organisations communicate online. Online platforms are used to generate conversation and allow for a two-way channel of fluid communication. This is mostly great news for businesses, especially the more interactive ones. However, the result of normality of immediacy on social media has meant that issues can crop up quicker and stories can become broadcast because of negative news agendas being grasped.  

So, the result of a more open society with access to an abyss of immediate online interaction has of course made it more important for reputation to be seen as an asset to be invested in. Traditionally, reach was measured in column inches achieved, now it’s measured in clicks, impressions and views. It’s important to remember that our audience is more involved now which is why planning for issues and putting back up strategies into motion is an essential part of maintaining reputation.

For small businesses, a few negative reviews online can really be harmful to your relationship with potential customers. For larger organisations, a Twitter storm can spread like wildfire and before you know it you’ve made the headlines, realising that ‘all publicity’ is in fact not always good publicity.

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