Reputation management is an important part of public relations. It’s many times more difficult to repair a broken reputation than to maintain a good one. So it would seem obvious that company owners and executives would keep reputation management as one of their top agenda items. If only that were the case.
Ideally, company executives will consult with their public relations team on a regular basis – to make sure their actions are well-conceived and communicated accurately. After all, the best communication is not solely from a company to its publics. It’s important as well to facilitate communication to a company from its publics. That’s why most PR pros work hard to stay in touch with public opinion on behalf of their employers or clients.
Often, however, company executives charge ahead without giving much thought to how their actions will be perceived. If things do not turn out well, that’s when they bring in their PR people, expecting them to fix a public perception that by that time has already been sealed in concrete.
You rarely see PR disasters with companies or organizations that have been around awhile. Their management has learned to head off any unpleasant reactions to what they do by including their PR staff in the decision-making process.