29
Aug

A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE REPUTATION

Posted by: Ryan Barr in: Financial Services - Media Relations -

Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputa­tion and five minutes to ruin it?” Who am I to disagree with Mr. Buffett? According to the Reputation Institute, in­tangible value-including corporate rep­utation-makes up 81 percent of  market value. This means a one-point increase in reputation yields a 2.6 percent increase in market cap, which translates into an aver­age of $1 billion.

However, corporate and financial com­municators know that if a company is going to market now, it doesn’t have 20 years to build its reputation. With 24/7 media, glob­ally connected social networks and online marketplaces, investors, influencers, cus­tomers and employees can alter the percep­tion of a corporate brand in the blink of an eye.

As corporate reputation impacts valua­tion, communicators must close the gap between the reality of a company’s current operational status and the  perceptions of key external stakeholders. And, the vast ar­ray of external influences can interfere with a company’s ability to control its narrative. Given this, it’s more important than ever for a company to use all the tools at its dis­posal. Where to begin?

It starts with storytelling. Financial and corporate communicators need to  build compelling narratives rooted in data that show an obtainable goal, all to be measured by a roadmap that tracks a company’s prog­ress. For all companies, financials are the obvious-and sometimes most critical ­gauge of success. It’s fairly straightforward: tell  your stakeholders what you’re going to do: increase sales, control expenses and grow the bottom line; execute your plan; and then report back. Unfortunately, finan­cials are only one metric used to measure a company’s success and not all companies are at the same moment in their lifecycle.

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