The MWW Group Reputation Manifesto

Why do we feel good about paying $5 for a cup of Starbucks?

Why do we look for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval?

When Berkshire Hathaway takes a position in a company, why do we believe that this is a fundamentally good company, even if it is underperforming?

It’s simple – Reputation, with a capital R.

Throughout the centuries, great thinkers and leaders have talked about it. Yet reputation remains an elusive, amorphous concept that called to mind that famous Supreme Court reference to pornography – it’s difficult to define but you know it when you see it.

At a time when information is moving at light speed, the importance of reputation is second only to the importance of understanding how to gain it, maintain it, manage it and protect it. Consider:

• 70 percent of MBA students say that reputation is critical when choosing their employer
• 78 percent of consumers say they consider reputation when making purchasing decisions
• A company’s book value and market value can differ as much as 70 percent, solely due to reputation

Reputation affects everything.

Companies with positive reputations enjoy premium pricing, easier access to capital and higher share prices. They attract the top talent and are beloved in their communities. Their products and services are in demand. A company’s legacy can self-fulfilling and cyclical, driven largely by reputation.

But reputations can change in an instant. Respond poorly to a crisis, for example, and reputation can vanish like a puff of smoke. The corporate graveyard is littered with examples of companies that never recovered from a dramatic blow to reputation.

Managing reputation isn’t like boiling the ocean, despite its ubiquitous nature. A formula for reputation management exists and at its crux lies this simple rule – action first, communications second.

At MWW Group, we believe in a total stakeholder approach to reputation management. We believe that every PR program is a reputation program at some level. Branding. Employee Engagement. Executive Thought Leadership. Partner relationships. The company “storyboard.” They all impact reputation.

Our reputation management team at MWW Group is a little bit like the Justice League – each member has different “super powers,” different styles and different strengths. But we all have the same goal: To protect and preserve the reputation of our clients.

We invite you to join the conversation as we share our thoughts about reputation. The discussion ranges from corporate issues to politics to pop culture and lifestyle. Think we’re wrong? Then say so. Have an idea? Have at it. Faced with a reputation conundrum? Ask away.

You’ve got nothing to lose, and maybe a lot to gain.

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