Under the spotlight of the media, some of the world’s biggest companies have faced prominent reputation damage over the last couple of years.
From an undercover Guardian investigation into Sports Direct that revealed working practices indicative of a workhouse, Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 and recent indictment of acting Head of Samsung Lee Jae-yong, and Merlin Entertainment’s handling of the Alton Towers roller coaster crash. Plus many more.
As the old Warren Buffett quote goes,
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”
Without a doubt, corporate governance and the behaviour of businesses and their leaders is higher up on the agenda than ever before. It’s not difficult to think of examples of poor management, and runaway executive pay at FTSE-listed companies has tested public patience.
To discuss the state of corporate governance and how UK companies have performed so far this year Danny Rogers, Editor-in-Chief at PR Week; Ed Coke, Director of Consulting Services at Reputation Institute; and Tony Langham, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Lansons; join Jon Cronin, Head of Lansons Broadcast PR and Content, in a special podcast recorded in the Lansons studio.
You can listen to the podcast by streaming it below.
Some of the key topics discussed during the episode can be seen below, plus many more.
Reputation as a holistic concept
For Reputation Institute, corporate governance is seen as shorthand for responsible business behaviour. This means looking at reputation as a holistic concept where governance is one part of this. By evaluating the seven key dimensions of reputation, products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership, and performance, it’s possible to have an altogether explanation of reputation.
If we are to say the definition of governance is about fairness and transparency, then the media plays a significant role in how governance is shaped. It is something people would notice or not notice on a daily basis, therefore if a company isn’t in the news then people could think governance is good. Ultimately if society values authenticity and transparency from businesses, then it’s important for businesses to respond to this.
Being seen to communicate
Facebook and Google have both been under fire recently for not communicating or responding to issues. Most prominently Google as major brands pulled their millions out of Google advertising after extremist content appeared against brand ads across Google’s websites. Today there is an expectation from the public that businesses will respond robustly and quickly to accusations (that can cause complications when fake news is spread via social networks).
Disclaimer: This is a Lansons podcast, the multi-specialist consultancy I work for.