Reputation Institute’s 21st annual Global Reputation Summit brought nearly 100 Corporate Communications leaders to Amsterdam to learn and share about Reputation Intelligence.
This year's event featured two days of content-rich panel discussions, insights, data, and peer intelligence from executives representing a diverse group of organizations including:
... plus many more.
As we reflect on the case studies, trends, and inspiring ideas shared amongst attendees, it’s apparent that organizations, along with stakeholders, are looking at reputation in a new light. While it may be a challenge to parse through all the learnings, here are some of the key insights shared by featured guests and RI experts and from the 2018 Global Reputation Summit.
- Reputation must be a KPI.
Why is this important? Two words — executive remuneration.
Conflicting views on executive pay continues to spark managerial criticism and endless debates over income inequality and wage gaps. Gaps between average income of an employee and executive pay is hard to explain; not only to employees, but also to regulators, institutional investors, and the public at large. To solve this, the conversation must shift from “it is too much” to “why?” Adding reputation as a remuneration KPI helps to answer this question because:
• Reputation is a holistic concept evaluating all aspects of the performance of an organization.
• Reputation is a measurable concept.
• Reputation is an actionable concept.
- Use your industry to your advantage.
Your industry’s reputation is a key driver of your company’s reputation. You can gain an advantage by associating yourself with certain industries, debunking the myth that you don’t have control over the perception of your associations unless you control the narrative. Understanding how the General Public classifies industry reputations is the first step towards successfully navigating your industry’s reputation.
- Leverage CEO Activism.
Macrotrends are changing CEO expectations. Reputational issues are increasingly driving political, social, environmental, and economic change, giving CEOs reason to rethink their role. CEOs must ask the question: “What can I do to make the world a better place?”
Leaders taking a public stand on political and social issues, not merely related to the company's bottom line, is the new the age of CEO activism. The “CEO With a Conscience” is taking a public position on values-based issues that matter to the world by balancing profits with a moral and ethical stance, doing what’s right by society and shareholders. However, beware of the “Celebrity CEO” who focuses on personal brand and populism that ultimately exposes the company to risk.
- Engage in stakeholder dialogues.
Support from a company’s stakeholders — customers, investors, employees, regulators — is essential to business growth. Engaging in stakeholder dialogues using clear, transparent communication is the road to that growth. The only way to truly know what these groups want is to ask and to listen. Building corporate reputation among stakeholders through frequent dialogue mitigates reputational risk and improves reputation scores.
It's Time to Get Reputation Ready
While 75% of companies state that reputation has grown in importance over the last few years, only 36% are ready to proactively manage reputation. This is a troubling stat, but one that will continue to shift as Reputation Intelligence gains increasing support from CEOs and executive leadership as a critical KPI.
Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA