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EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

REPUTATION: H0W PUBLIC RELATIONS SHAPES LOW EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

“Reputation is arguably the most valuable commodity on the planet. You can actually attribute about 50% of the value of a company’s worth.”

Matthew Freud, of Freuds to David Yelland and Simon Lewis – on the BBC Sounds podcast: “When It Hits the Fan,” 22/04/2025

Freud explains that this observation highlights why two companies with identical financials can have vastly different market valuations, based purely on public perception. A company’s reputation has become incredibly important in today’s world, where consumers, investors, and stakeholders are now, more discerning than ever.

The Tangible Value of Reputation

The influence of reputation on a company’s valuation is both profound and multifaceted.

A good reputation can:

  • Enhance a company’s ability to attract and retain customers
  • Recruit top talent
  • Secure favourable terms with suppliers and partners.

A poor reputation can lead to:

  • A loss of customer trust
  • Difficulties in recruitment
  • Strained relationships with stakeholders

The World Economic Forum estimated that on average, more than 25% of a company’s market value can be directly attributed to its reputation. This aligns with Freud’s thoughts and underscores the impact that public perception can have on a company’s financial health. Such a statistic reiterates that in the modern market, consumer sentiment and brand image are as critical as operational efficiency and product quality.

How to build and protect your Brand

Public Relations – A Positive Reputation

The first step in managing reputation is projecting a positive image. This is where strategic Public Relations plays an essential role. PR and comms involve managing the spread of information between an organisation and the public to foster a favourable image. It’s about crafting the narrative to highlight the company’s strengths and values while mitigating the impact of its shortcomings.

Effective PR strategies often include regular and transparent communication with stakeholders through various channels, such as: press releases, social media, blogs & interviews.

By actively shaping this discourse, companies can ensure that their narrative remains positive or at least balanced. Moreover, engaging content that resonates with the audience can help build a positive public image.

Enhancing Corporate Reputation

Enhancing a company’s reputation involves working on the existing positive perceptions while continually seeking improvement. This can be achieved through Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) initiatives that align with the company’s values and resonate with its stakeholders.

For example, a company could implement sustainable practices, support local communities, or invest in charitable activities. Such actions not only contribute to societal good but also enhance the company’s image by demonstrating its commitment to more than just profit.

Thought leadership builds the company’s reputation by having the leaders speak at industry events, contribute to influential publications, and participate in public forums, a company can establish its authority in the industry and gain respect from its peers and the public.

Protecting Reputation in Times of Crisis

Despite any best efforts, no company is immune to crises that can tarnish its reputation. Effective crisis management is therefore fundamental. In times, when anyone anywhere even, a teenager in their bedroom, can precipitate a crisis armed only with an iPhone, Crisis comms is ever more important.

A robust crisis management plan that can be swiftly enacted is vital. Immediate, transparent, and responsible communication is key in such times. Companies need to acknowledge the issue, take responsibility if appropriate, and communicate the steps being taken to address the situation.

It’s not just about reactive measures. Don’t underestimate the importance of being proactive, constant monitoring and evaluation across all media and social media outlets is essential for early detection of potential issues and day-to-day upkeep.

Tools like sentiment analysis and social media monitoring can provide invaluable insights into public perception, allowing companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Conclusion

As Matthew Freud clearly stated,

I think the function of our industry is to help Individuals, Companies, and Institutions, to allow the public to understand who they are, what they do, and what their values are. That can be tough when you’ve got a very partisan media who are inclined to pantomime villain the majority of people that they’re covering. But I think the rewards for companies trying to be better, should be a better reputation.

Reputation is not just a vague concept but a tangible asset. It significantly impacts a company’s value. In today’s digital age, where opinions are formed in seconds, and spread even faster, the role of Public Relations communications and social media management in projecting, enhancing, and protecting corporate reputation has become more critical than ever.

Companies that successfully manage their reputation stand to gain not only in terms of market value but also in longevity and success in an increasingly competitive and transparent global market.

Negotiating public opinion requires a balanced approach, combining proactive reputation enhancement with vigilant protection and agile crisis management. By investing in PR & comms practitioners to provide robust PR strategies, companies can safeguard their reputations and enhance their overall value, demonstrating that in the world of business, a good reputation is worth its weight in gold.

If you’d like to chat through your options call Julia Fenwick on 07710 124 502 or email julia@boldmove.co.uk

To listen to the podcast :

“When It Hits the Fan,” 22/04/24 – Inside the world of crisis managers and spin doctors with David Yelland and Simon Lewis. 


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