Reputation Management in the Chemical Distribution Industry


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Laura Stocker from Tin Cans Unlimited and Natalia McDonagh from Cornelius Group presented "Reputation Management in the Chemical Distribution Industry" at the recent FECC Congress in Rome.

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Reputation Management in the Chemical Distribution Industry

  1. 1. Reputation Management in the Chemical Distribution Industry Natalia McDonagh Marketing Manager, Cornelius Group Laura Stocker President, Tin Cans Unlimited
  2. 2. • What is reputation management? • Social media in corporate reputation • Safeguard your company reputation online • Getting started • Reputation readiness • Dealing with a crisis • Wrap-up
  3. 3. Social Media in Corporate Reputation The DARK SIDE : Not without risks – Acts of misconduct – Disclosure of confidential information – Defamatory comments – Harassment and bullying
  4. 4. Reputation is Perception
  5. 5. Rights to Privacy ?...
  6. 6. Rights of Privacy?...
  7. 7. Facebook posts: ‒ Comments about hating working at the company ‒ Referred to “JesusPhone”, complained having no signal ‒ Phone XXX application “f**ked up my time zone” ‒ No mention of company, but damage to XXX brand ‒ Dismissal – fair, breaking employers ‘core values’ Rights to Privacy?...
  8. 8. Social media “privacy”  Employees argued Article 8 – comments made in private should be protected  Crisp v Apple Retail - comments only to his friends  BUT: had no control over comments not be copied or passed on  Could not have reasonable expectations that comments would remain private  Article 8 Argument generally rejected
  9. 9. Bullying and Harassment on social media (Cyber- bullying)  Harassment conducted through social media channels  Employers are liable for acts of harassment carried out by employees “in the course of their employment”  Problem for employers: – Often takes place away from work – Difficult to prevent Defense when effective Bullying and Harassment Social media policy in place
  10. 10. “Cyber-bullying” cont.  Otomewo v Carphone Warehouse − Employees took phone without permission, accessed Facebook page, changed status − “Finally come out the closet. I am gay and proud” − Mr. O not gay and did not believe colleagues thought he was, brought a claim for sexual orientation − Employment Tribunal found – “harassment” − Unwanted intrusion in private life − Employer liable – actions done at work during working hours and between members of staff
  11. 11. “Cyber-bullying” cont.  Jones v Tower Boot Co – interpreted more broadly  Takes place away from workplace  Only defense – employers took all reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination
  12. 12. Multiculturalism and Social media When ignorance is not a defense Jokes, political comments Education- Tell, Tell, Tell
  13. 13. Disclosure of Confidential information  What is confidential information / Trade secret? Court will consider: ‒ Whether the employee ‘habitually handles’ confidential information ‒ Can it be properly classified as a trade secret e.g. Coca- Cola secret formula ‒ The extent to which information can be easily isolated from other, non-confidential, information ‒ Whether the employer impressed on the employee the confidentiality of the information
  14. 14. Confidence during vs after employment  Faccenda Chicken –v- Fowler [1986] The following were NOT trade secrets; ‒ Names and addresses of customers ‒ Daily routes taken for supplying customers ‒ The customer’s requirements ‒ The days and times of delivery ‒ Prices paid “Do not possess a ‘sufficiently high degree of confidentiality’
  15. 15. Restrictive covenants  Apply after employment has ended 4 Main Types of Restrictive Covenant:  Non-Competition  Non-Solicitation of Clients  Non-Dealing with Clients  Non-Poaching of Employees
  16. 16. What on earth has this got to do with Social Media?  Friends if on Facebook  Followers if on Twitter  Connections if on LinkedIn  What is the point of Social Media in the workplace? ‒ To generate work from these people and therefore cash for the employer.
  17. 17. What does the law say?  Hays Recruitment –v- Ions [2008]  Following handing in his resignation Mr Ions uploaded Hays client database to his LinkedIn account to ‘connect’ with them.  Contacts would then ‘accept’ the connection which Ions used in his new business  When Ions updated his new employer all contacts received notification of that fact  Ions argued ‘no longer confidential’  Court: possibly no longer confidential but if so due to Ions behaviour so potential claim for - breach of restrictive covenants - breach of confidentiality
  18. 18. After an employment is terminated
  19. 19. Manage social media rigorously Reputation is Perception We recommend: • Employers implement a Social Media Policy (CRUCIAL!) to provide protection (with comprehensive restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses built in) • Social media workshops for employees (prevention and protection)
  20. 20. Corporate reputation management for a chemical distributor: Join the Debate When principal's actions influence a distributor's brand
  21. 21. Safeguard Your Company Reputation • Stakeholder management • Don’t shut the door on the brewing storm
  22. 22. Getting Started • Creating a benchmark • Monitoring your reputation
  23. 23. Creating a Benchmark
  24. 24. Monitoring Your Reputation • Tools for monitoring – Hootsuite/Trackur/Marketing Cloud – Google Alerts – PR Scorecard – Google audit/Google incognito
  25. 25. What we used to call your “elevator pitch” is now your “Twittervator” pitch!
  26. 26. Reputation Readiness Do you want to manage the conversation or react to the conversation?
  27. 27. Earned Media • Public relations – Regularly crafted news releases – Ongoing positive relationships with the media – Presentation and participation
  28. 28. Where is your center of influence?
  29. 29. Shared Media • Social marketing – Thoughtful / well conceived, strategically based profiles on major platforms • Managed and ACTIVE – Blogging
  30. 30. Shared Media • Comment marketing – Wikipedia • Transparency
  31. 31. Paid Media • Advertising – Positive branding • Search engine optimization – Most transactions now begin with Google – Consider Google page 1 as your business card
  32. 32. Dealing with a Crisis • Know your weaknesses – Prepare in advance for possible scenarios • Identify your detractors – and monitor them • The worst has happened – now what?
  33. 33. Dealing with a Crisis • Prepare a response • Stay transparent • Engage your networks and your brand ambassadors • Measurement and follow up
  34. 34. Ethics • Reputation management agencies – mostly bad news • Extortionists exist • Practice white hat tactics
  35. 35. Wrap Up • Stay ahead of the curve – The 80/10/10 rule • 80% of your effort on content you own • 10% of your effort on content you create • 10% of your effort on content you influence
  36. 36. Be Prepared • Building a solid reputation both on and offline is ongoing • Personal and company reputations are intertwined
  37. 37. Questions? Laura Stocker Natalia McDonagh LinkedIn: Cornelius Group