by helen on July 27, 2011

Does reputation management work?

Just one more day to go on the challenge. Time to think about how to evaluate our activities and investment to see if they have improved our reputation.

If you Google “how do you measure reputation” you get a long list of links to articles that are heavy-going to say the least.

I may be over-simplifying a complex discipline, but as far as I’m concerned, the more people who know, like and trust you, the better your reputation.

One of the links in my Google results was to a paper, Measuring Corporate Reputation written in 1999 by Stewart Lewis, Director at MORI (leading market research company).

It’s not too long, and it’s definitely worth a read even though it’s 12 years old!

At the end of the paper, Stewart (if I can call him that) states that good communications makes a difference to favourability towards a company. He also describes what “we” (which I understand to be MORI) think makes successful communications.

For those of you who don’t read the article, he says the stages of corporate communications should be:

Here’s who we are

Here’s what we can do for you

Here’s how we meet our responsibilities

Only when these three stages have been satisfied, can communications campaigns achieve the ultimate goal.

Persuasion & Action:
Here’s what we think, and what we want you to do

I think the stages of my Challenge guide you through that very process.

Week 1 is all about identifying who you are and making it easy for people to find that information – AWARENESS

Weeks 2 and 3 are all about identifying the people you want to connect with and demonstrating what you can do for them – INVOLVEMENT & CONNECTION

Week 4 is all about you getting out there and building on the awareness, involvement and connections you have already achieved – PERSUASION & ACTION

Remember those questions I asked you on Day 1 – who is your audience, what is your reputation, have you set a goal and objectives? Time to look back at what you wrote – and see how where you are now compares with where you were then.

What do you think? Has your audience responded to your call to action? How successful have you been at the awareness – involvement – connection stages?

If that was all a bit too theoretical for you, here are my personal “rules of evaluation” which I hope will help you measure the success of your campaigns.

Know your “before and after” – if you set a target to lose weight or get fitter you should know the point you’re starting from so you can measure your success. Whether you’re dropping a dress size or running a marathon, you know where you’re starting from and what you’re heading for. Why should PR be any different?

Set measurable, achievable goals. Don’t say you want to increase awareness. You can knock on any front door and introduce your company. Make sure you are specific. The more specific you are, the more successful your campaign will be.

See you tomorrow, when I’ll have a go at sharing the results of my campaign to improve my reputation, and some of you might be tempted to let us know how you have done with the challenge!

Photo courtesy cambodia4kidsorg, Creative Commons


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