Schillings

Reputation resilience: a study into the emerging professionalisation of corporate reputational risk management

Those tasked with protecting corporate reputation find themselves on uncertain ground. Anecdotally, we can see the penalties for failing to protect reputation escalate — whether that means serious issues receiving attention on campaigning websites, newspaper pages or the uncomfortable chairs of the Public Accounts Select Committee.

At the same time, many of the tools businesses use to protect themselves are still evolving to meet the pace of social and technological change. Managing public perception by managing the mainstream media retains a role, but it is clear online publication is eroding the comfortable certainty that used to come from knowing that dissuading a newspaper from airing an issue would keep it unaired forever.

How should those of us who strive for better answers and take up the challenge of thinking differently begin to address this issue? A helpful starting point is to examine what it is that makes us feel that our businesses are resilient to reputation risk. By seeking to confirm the accuracy of our anecdotal observations on where threats and opportunity arise and by testing the assumptions we work on, we can begin to identify what might be done differently. The ultimate aim is to start rebuilding that assurance that, by doing the right things, reputations can be protected…

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