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  • Writer's pictureLukas Zihlmann

Reputation - the greatest common denominator

Those who communicate with their stakeholders want to know what works. Marketing and sales survey customers and the public, human resources ask employees and talents. Corporate Communications monitors the (social) media. Investor Relations follows the financial community and Corporate Responsibility documents its activities.

A peculiarity of all these activities is that the information and key figures collected are usually used exclusively in their own area. At first glance, this makes sense: customers and the public evaluate products and image, employees and talents assess the employer, the media report on corporate news, and the public discourse can be followed in the social media. So, everything is clear?

Not really. Because this "silo thinking" does not do justice to reality. Customers do not only buy because of convincing products; employees do not only come and stay because of good working conditions and the media do not only report favourably because of professional communication work. Those addressed do not only perceive your company in the role of a member of one certain stakeholder group. They register - and evaluate - all touchpoints with you.

The sum of all impressions has a name: Reputation. And this reputation is of fundamental importance for your company. It is responsible for customers preferring you, employees talking positively about you, you attracting better talent, being more interesting to investors and more resistant to crises. And you enjoy greater public trust.

The criteria people use to evaluate companies have been scientifically determined. The three big areas are: Products and services, leadership and economic performance, and community engagement. Regardless of who is being addressed, the expectations of your company always come from all three areas.

So, if you want to know how you are judged by the respective stakeholder groups, reputation is the greatest common denominator. It shows across departments and stakeholders how your company is perceived in its entirety. A suitable reputation framework helps to ensure that the same language is spoken in all departments involved in the company - and that reputation thus becomes the unifying, comparable currency for your company.

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