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29 January 2019 | By Alastair McCapra Community

Reputation is critical for the future of your business

Every business depends on its reputation for survival, says CIPR's Alastair McCapra. So how do you hire the right staff or PR agency? 

In a recent interview about the impact of the 2008 crash on RBS, Chief Executive Ross McEwan said "there are two things that any financial service organisation has... one is our financial strength and the second is our reputation." The bank has recovered financially from the events of 2008 (it just posted its first annual profit), yet all measures show that customers and the public still don’t trust it. Indeed, McEwan estimates the reputational recovery “will take another 5-10 years...that's what it is when your reputation gets tarnished so badly,"

Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success.

Worryingly for businesses, RBS isn’t alone in feeling the real effects of a poor reputation. Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2018 highlighted that fewer than half the population (43 percent) say they trust business – down from 45 percent in 2017 and 53 percent in 2016. In a stark warning, this drops to 38 percent among young people.

When intangible assets form a large part of a business’ worth, reputation – including trust, confidence and brand – among employees, stakeholders, suppliers and customers, is ever more significant. Perceptions drive decisions about whether people want to work with, shop with and support organisations. In today's competitive market, reputation can be a company's biggest asset.

Recruiting the right staff and/or securing the services of the right PR agency is crucial to success. This is why the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has launched a new Client Advisor Service offering access to experienced chartered practitioners to help you through the process.

We’re also offering two free to download guides, with more general advice, information and case studies:

Highlighting the benefits of a well designed brief and the benefits the CIPR Client Advisor service can bring to a business, Niki Wheeler, Director at PR agency Launch, explains: “There’s no question that brilliant communications ideas, executed well, drive business success. But coming up with a brief and pitch process that will get an agency to produce an idea which delivers commercial value, spotting that the thinking is a ‘winner’, and selling it back into the business is ultimately a client’s responsibility. When you are working with a prospect you don’t have a relationship with, the pitch process needs to be an investment in time and resource, from both sides if it is to be a success.”

“In our experience clients don’t like surprises. If a well written brief, including desired outcomes and budgets, is issued, the chances are that the lines of communication with the agency will be strong from the get go and this will set you up for success well beyond the pitch itself.”

A good reputation is rarely celebrated, it’s expected. It is our hope that this new CIPR service will improve the experiences businesses have in their public relations work and ultimately benefit from the value this offers.

If you are interested in hiring a CIPR Client Advisor service, or for more information, please visit our website.

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