Constant Attention to Detail Key to Reputation Management

by David D. Menzies
When people talk about reputation management in the business world, many C-level executives, small business owners, and mid-level managers think of it in terms of marketing and branding. Trouble is, reputation management is actually something every single person within a business or organization needs to understand at a very basic, everyday level as it pertains to protecting and enhancing a brand throughout email, phone, and face-to-face communications. Without this understanding, your daily business operations can have lasting negative repercussions for your business without you even knowing it. For example, take a recent week of client support, business operations, business development efforts for my consultancy Innovative Public Relations. I sent out emails to 72 different people I knew (not counting replies and back-and-forth conversations) and 14 people I did not know. Additionally, I sent out two press releases for clients reaching over 400 media contacts. Phone-wise, I called a total of seven different people; again, a light week for me. Still, think about it: 493 people were exposed to my name and brand in just one week. If you average, say, 400 people a week for an entire year, you are looking at nearly 21,000 people who I would have proactively contacted, not to mention the hundreds/thousands over a course of a year who would have reached out to me on their own.

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In every single one of these emails, phone calls, or in-person interactions I will have been exposed to numerous opportunities to communicate my brand either in a positive way or a negative way. I'm not talking about trying to sell somebody something; I'm talking about the individual I've communicated with walking away from our interaction with either a positive or negative impression of me and my consultancy. Who knows how many other people that individual will speak with about me, and how many others those people will talk to? It's almost impossible to calculate.

What this all breaks down to is creating ambassadors for your brand. These people can be C-level executives; administrative staff answering the phone or greeting you at the front desk; customer support personnel; vendors; peers; customers; prospective clients; and in my case reporters and editors across the U.S. and around the world.

Although there are many levels to creating ambassadors for your brand -- such as being truthful, hitting on strategic messaging and themes, and engaging them in your products/services -- there is one very simple, very basic rule you need to follow and make sure everyone within your operation follows: be nice. Sounds simplistic? Consider the alternative: be rude. How do you think someone will think about you and, by affiliation, your company's brand? Whenever I speak with ANYONE on a daily basis, I am 100% sure to be positive, uplifting, and connect with that individual on some sort of level. This can take the form of repeating the individual's name if they introduce themselves, or simply thanking them up front for taking your call. Every single email you send should have a "thank you" in some form somewhere in your text, and you should absolutely thank everyone you encounter face-to-face or over the phone, even if the conversation is difficult or the other individual is in a negative or angry mood.

David D. Menzies is president of Innovative Public Relations, a PR and media relations consultancy. He is a 22+ year public relations professional with expertise in strategic messaging, publicity and branding. For more information visit Copyright © 2014 Innovative Public Relations, Inc. Publicity and branding solutions from Innovative Public Relations help U.S. and international life sciences and technology companies get in front of prospective customers and cement their brands in the marketplace.