Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Do You Value a Good Reputation? And the Steps to Get There

There’s nothing more valuable to a company than a good reputation.

That’s a difficult statement to get your company’s financial people to swallow though, as measuring the true value of a company’s reputation is very hard, if not impossible, to cite on a balance sheet.

In 2007, the Chartered Institute of Managed Accountants published a paper called: Corporation Reputation: Perspectives of Measuring and Managing Principle Risk” where they concluded the following: “Reputation has a value even if it cannot be expressed financially … although reputation cannot be classed as an asset for balance sheet purposes; a good reputation can be seen as a asset to corporations.” The full report can be read at:

Simply put, while a company’s reputation is nearly impossible to value by an exact number, it’s a major reason why some companies prosper in both the short and long term.

Companies that build good reputations and brands by delivering great products, telling positive stories on how their product/program helped others and by communicating honestly and accurately with their stakeholders and customers, frequently find long-term success because they are able to develop a strong base of loyal, long-term customers who tell everyone they know about the positive experience they had with a company.

How exactly can you develop public relations/marketing initiatives that provide both tangible bottom line results and more importantly the intangible ones that will help your company to enhance its reputation amongst its customer base?

The Intangible

Public relations activities that can help your company to create or enhance its reputation are virtually endless, from getting a customer to write a favorable post on Facebook or positive review on or write a letter to their local newspaper about their experience.

And there’s a lot that your public relations firm or internal marketing staff can do to promote these positive customer stories to potential customers. You can promote these positive stories through:

• Press releases to the news media.
• Posting the stories and positive customer testimonials on your website.
• Posting a video on YouTube or various other Internet video websites.
• Get your third party stakeholders to recommend your company to their friends through word of mouth, sharing of your Fan Page on Facebook or Retweeting your company’s daily updates/news to their Twitter followers.

As I mentioned previously, some of these tactics can be highly successful in creating a good reputation for your company and spreading word on the street about your brand. These activities through are very difficult to measure success for; unless you’re planning talk to the millions of people who may have heard about your company on the local news, or read about it on Facebook, or saw a newspaper story on a positive experience that one of your customers had.

The Tangible

There are a great range of public relations and marketing activities that a company can undertake to take advantage of the latest technologies as well as some tried and true public relations and marketing/advertising techniques.

The emergence of social media, the Internet, Google Analytics and other Internet measurement tools has made it much easier in recent years to gauge the success and tangible results of public relations and marketing campaigns. As a result, a company is able to see in definite numbers how many unique users are clicking on their web pages, how many search for their company name and keywords that can lead to your company’s website, and how many people click on an advertising banner on a business website and it leads to them signing up for your product or program..

For the tried and true public relations and marketing/advertising techniques, you could create unique phone numbers for your company and its programs and cite them on advertisements that promote your program or alert your administrative staff to the latest public relations program to ask incoming callers where they heard about your company’s program.

These are just a few of the many public relations/marketing techniques that can help your company to increase and enhance your reputation and positively impact your company’s bottom line.

The latter will certainly keep the bean counters happy.