MANAGING CORPORATE REPUTATION Tutor David Phillips FCIPR, FSNCR
Quick Reminder Reputation Overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general Recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability A place in public esteem or regard Good name Corporate culture the quality in an organisationthat arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in management, financial capability, employment, products, services, customer and vendor relations and responsibility to the wider community
Managing the dimensions of an organisation’sreputation Identity and brand are constructed by managers, sometimes intentionally, and both impact on the way an organisation is perceived. Identity and brand are disintermediated by publics The core elements of corporate culture/personality‐>identity/brand‐>image Understand the issues and characteristics associated with the character or personality of an organisation
The character of organisations The character consists of Prevailing organisational culture, the organisational structure the way strategy is developed or formulated. Remember, it is not the strategy itself but the formulation process – how strategy is developed – not the actual strategy that counts.
Notions of communication climate Refers to the type of internal information exchange that exists within an organisation Whether managers and employees interact formally or informally. An open climate suggests free exchange and trust, a closed climate represents silence and wariness.
Evaluating form and strength of the current identity or brand All organisations have an identity Not all constitute a brand. Variation derived through symbolism, behaviour Communication
Representing identity The identity represents the way an organisation chooses to be seen Is the embodiment of the desired positioning identity mix resembles or reflects the core character of the organisation Is there identity dissonance E.g. does the web site really reflect the nature of the organisation?
Measuring identity How is identity perceived is reputation Many methods for measurement and evaluation Fombon and van Riel AMEC
The Corporate Brand Why do organisationschoose to move from an identity to a brand Drivers that force organisations towards creating corporate brands Identity is not easy to communicate Brands are easy to communicate Brand values – internal –external Need to identify Brand value – an audit
Corporate Brand Values Undertaking a communication audit Many publics to evaluate Current brand value perceptions Evaluation of the way brands are currently communicated Reveal gaps and inconsistencies as between different publics and identity objectives and provide goals and focus for subsequent communication activities
Reputational platforms Provide the basis upon which to tell corporate stories Reinforce corporate positioning Reconfirm the culture, structures, and ambitions of the organisation
Workshop 1 Important to understand the make‐up of an organisation’s character. In groups of 3 and over 15 minutes: Select one employing organisation Make a list of the organisation’s defining characteristics Prioritisethe characteristics. Each group to report back and use the white board to help categorise the responses What are the common themes associated with culture, structure and strategy formulation Test needs, competences, attitude, constitution, temperament, origin and interests to distinguish different types of culture, strategy processes
At the heart of all organisations Do we identify the centrality of corporate character: culture, structure and strategy formulation Can we identify the existence of different types of corporate culture Did corporate character influences communication ?
Workshop 2 This seminar is now a dinner party and the conversation turns to what people do for a living and what is it like to work where they do.
The importance of communication The focus should eventually be on what the internal comunicationsare like at the particular organisation. What is the form of the internal communications, speed, direction, level of formality and openness, Does this influences the way the organisation operates Does it affect the attitudes and feeling staff have towards each other and the organisation Does the staff talk willingly and with pride about their employing organisation, or do they remain quiet and reserved about this? Why?
Did we: establish ideas about the nature of communication climate and its impact on the way employees interact with one another confirm the notion of a communication climate introduce some concepts about how understanding the communication climate might help the development of the corporate identity.
Workshop 3 Corporate reputation measurement systems Contrast/compare Brand Asset Valuator, BrandZ, Equitrend, Brand Power, USA’s Most Admired, Reputation Quotient and Rep Track, For Monday from Chapter 5 of the van Riel and Fombrun
Workshop 4 Each student is requested to identify 10 different well known organisations. Research basic information of logo, name, organisationalorigin, the strapline plus any corporate stories and any other aspect of their nomenclature that can be identified. Will be in Groups of 3 To identify the reputational platform, understand any stories about the organisations that might have been found, and from there identify the position an organisation occupies. See: Chapter 6 in van Riel and Fombrun For Monday
Review Did we identify the concept of reputational platforms and corporate storytelling as a means of developing positions for corporate brands confirm the importance of nomenclature in corporate brands and positioning establish the importance of symbolism and messaging in managing corporate brands.
The assessment strategy for this unit is based on the preparation of a work based assignment. The majority of candidates are expected to be in employment and will be required to apply their knowledge to their employer’s organisation. Those not in employment will be required to base their assignment tasks on a recent employer or an organisation with which they are familiar or have access. Candidates will prepare two assignment tasks. One is compulsory and the other a choice from three. The compulsory task will require a written response of 4,000 words, the other will require 2,000 to 3,000 words. The variability in word length is recognition that some tasks and some organisations may not present the same opportunities to candidates to express themselves. The volume of words is not particularly important, it is the quality of what is being communicated that matters, and clarity and simplicity paramount.
The written tasks require candidates to express themselves in unusual assessment formats. Whilst the report format will be used candidates will also be required to write White Papers, Journal Articles for professional magazines and case studies. The format will be predetermined for each task. Tutors will have access to instructions and web resources concerning the preparation of each of these formats. It is the intention that once these assessments have been assessed, they can be used by the candidates and their organisations. For example, white papers can be used internally or posted on the web site for external consumption. Although assessment journal articles will need to be edited and shortened they might provide publicity materials that can be used for reputational purposes. Case studies can be sold to case houses, used by CIM or used for training purposes by the candidate’s employer. A typical core assignment will focus on the current identity or company brand and require candidates to analyse ways in which corporate branding can influence the reputation and performance of organisations.
Other tasks could include: evaluating an organisation’s brand (or identity) and determining the extent to which organisational culture impacts the brand assessing the organisational culture and communication climate reflecting upon the potential of the corporate identity and/or brand appraising the use of the identity mix proposing the use of reputational platforms and storytelling. Candidates will be required to provide evidence to support their outputs, engage with academic materials and demonstrate their ability to apply theory in practice. They should reflect on their judgements and develop their analytical skills. Each assessment provides a framework for candidates to explore their organisation. There is no right or wrong answer but there must be evidence within the assignment of candidates engaging with the topic and considering a variety of strategic branding and identity related issues. Marks will be awarded for structure, depth, and involvement as well as for the application of theory in practice.