Building a firm’s reputation isn’t possible by simply telling people you’re good. That is tantamount to the front-bencher in school who claims he will stand first in class. Chances are he will, and chances are that you are really as good as you say you are, but no one likes a braggart. How then can you build a reputation for excellence without tooting your own horn?
The answer is so surprisingly simple – get others to do it for you.
In today’s world, people are sceptical by nature. Everyone knows that face value counts for next to nothing. Trust and aspiration, on the other hand, can actually move mountains. Not many are willing to take the risk of trying out new products or services. But if a trusted source tells them a product or service is worth their while, they will truly believe it to be so.
Your corporate reputation can be built with the help of two major types of engagement that are absolutely essential:
1. Editorial Engagement:
Getting your name out there is the first hurdle that many firms, both new and fairly established, face. While new firms have to start from scratch, more established firms need to look at expanding awareness about themselves beyond immediate stakeholders. To do this, you have to create some kind of editorial engagement through which a wider audience can know about your firm and latest updates, without it seeming like an advertising gimmick. Discreet advertorials in newspapers and magazines, paid news and other avenues help you to establish optimal editorial engagement. It is often best to hire a corporate reputation management agency who will help kick-start editorial engagement, as they will be able to get material to feature in the right spaces and at the right time. Once people have heard of you, you can continue to release material about achievements, important updates and other newsworthy information.
2. Influencer Engagement:
Managing corporate reputation is both an art and science. You need to be aware at all times about what is being said of your firm and calculate the most risk-free ways to promote yourself and quell any kind of crises that may arise. An excellent way to keep a good impression of your firm floating around is through influencer engagement. Many brands do this by getting famous or successful individuals to be brand ambassadors. There are studies such as this,* which show the positive correlation between celebrity endorsement and brand success. As a firm, you may not need to get celebrities, but you can reach out to key industry influencers to offer you some support. Their perceived trust in your firm and company, will act as a base on which both competitors and potential clients can form their first impressions. A good example of this is the number of start-ups that Ratan Tata has invested in, now that he has retired as the Chairman of the Tata Group. Knowing that a trusted businessman such as Mr. Tata has invested in a company automatically creates a good impression of the future and success of such companies, leading to further investment from other sources.
As you can see, both influencer and editorial engagement need to be essential parts of your corporate reputation management strategy, as they truly help in building a firm’s image and further a good impression.