Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reputation and Public Relations Article Review

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            The Importance of Reputation and the Role of Public Relations is a peer-reviewed journal article discussing corporate reputation, its significance, reputation management methodology, and the role that public relations has in preserving a reputation. It was written by Dirk Gibson, Jerra Gonzales, and Jaclynn Castanon. The following is a review of the insights I gathered from their work.

Firstly, the discernments into the definition of corporate reputation were helpful because of how the author divided up the many facets and related opinions of the subject. Reputation can be difficult to define because it is intangible, no matter whether it is considered an asset or a liability.

I was surprised by how many definitions existed about what corporate reputation consists of. To name a few, some define that reputation is solely derived from the company’s stakeholders’ perceptions, while others declare it is the collective images perceived only by significant stakeholders. Another definition maintains that reputation is derived from an organization’s intangible assets such as its employee dedication, degree of consumer confidence, brand loyalty, management trustworthiness, and organizations public image. Overall, however, the article concluded that corporate reputation “signifies public evaluation of organizational activity… (and it) …includes elements of trust, credibility, responsibility, and accountability.”

The next section of the article discussed how the significance of a corporation’s reputation was once inconsequential, but in today’s world, it is of important consequence. Having a positive reputation can be an organization’s most important asset while negative reputations can lead to serious business complications and costs. Although the information from this section was beneficial, I wish to have read more about some examples of companies with good reputations compared to companies with bad ones. Comparing the good and the bad is always an insightful way to convey a point and learn more about helpful practices in reputation management.

To see some examples of companies with good reputations and ones with bad reputations, go to these websites I found on my own:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/10/best-reputation-companies_n_2831138.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/03/the-11-most-hated-american-companies_n_856471.html

The last aspect of the article evaluated how public relations and corporate reputation correlate and work together. The main acumen discussed is how the public relations professional has the opportunity to uniquely assist creating or rehabbing their company’s reputation. With this opportunity, however, ethical responsibilities can become an issue. According to the article, in order for effective reputation management to occur these three points need to be considered:

  1. Do not prevaricate. When conveying a message, honesty necessarily always receives emphasis. Even slight variations of the truth are considered false information, which ultimately destroys positive reputations.
  2. Practice loyalty, integrity and strong values. Without these components, truth and honesty will not characterize a reputation.
  3. Check sources. Emphasizing the importance of accuracy is vital to portraying reputation. False or otherwise incomplete information disseminated on behalf of an organization, even unintentionally, suggests dishonesty.

Overall, this article provided me with information that I was only acutely aware of and gave examples that helped me expand my knowledge of the subject. As a PR professional, reputation management will be an important subject for me to understand and implement.

To learn more about reputation management check out  more articles at prnewsdaily.com as well as other public relations forums and blogs.

Gibson, D., Gonzales, J., & Castanon, J. (2006). The Importance of Reputation and the Role of Public Relations. Public Relations Quarterly, 51(3), 15-18.

 

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