A company’s reputation is arguably its most valuable asset and smart companies watch this as closely as their bottom line. They recognize that internal perceptions, while important, may not mirror external perceptions and there are numerous factors that can alter public opinion about a brand. Shifts can occur as quickly as the wind and be just as unexpected and uncontrolled.
What drives these attitudes are events, circumstances and even rumor. What controls and corrects them is communications. In the absence of information and messaging that provides context, there is often rampant misinformation and speculation which ultimately breeds negative perceptions. The Gonsoulin Group provides communications counsel and hands-on navigation that helps companies manage and improve their reputation, and in turn protect their brand.
Reputation management should be considered in situations such as:
- Changes in leadership
- Staffing reductions or changes
- Organizational change (mergers, acquisitions, etc.)
- Operational change (closings, market entries, etc.)
- Change that impacts communities (environmental, economic, etc.)
- Crises or other unexpected events
- Rebranding or repositioning
Communications must play as important a role as business strategy when addressing these situations. The Gonsoulin Group can serve as expert counsel to a company’s in-house resources, provide implementation of the critical functions that are not core competencies of existing staff, or simply be an extension of your team in the execution of reputational activities.
Crisis events by nature are disruptive to normal business operations and the diversion of staff resources to address these situations can take a toll on a company. Moreover, many companies are unprepared for the level of details required, or adequately staffed, to successfully respond to a crisis, particularly in the period immediately following an event.
The Gonsoulin Group offers a specialized, proprietary program called Triage that brings immediate resources to bear on a brewing or full-blown crisis situation, including:
- Strategy and message development
- Media management and communications
- Spokesperson preparation
- Stakeholder communications
Triage is designed to provide critical guidance and hands-on support in the initial days of a situation, and build the infrastructure necessary to manage the activities internally over the longer term.