Rules of the road: Transparency + engagement = reputation

|

I caught an interesting blog post from the WSJ recently that easily demonstrates how reputation risk emerges.

In this case, a backlash against toll roads appears to be brewing in Texas because residents don’t understand that they pay for roads one way or the other, through tolls or taxes. Or both.

If private investors build the roads, they recoup their costs one way or another.

Tolls may be a payment method that is visible and irritating, and thus may cause nascent irritation to raise into outrage.This is especially true, the writer reports, when there is little transparency. This reminds me of the Chicago parking meter fiasco, which had little public review.

A public backlash can have significant repercussions immediately, or later down the road. The post suggests that organizations managing public infrastructure projects follow several strategies:

  • Communicate clearly so people know what they are paying for, how and when. Roads are not free, except in our uninformed perceptions. Let people know.
  • Reach out before a change happens, so user knowledge grows, and they see that you are acting with transparency.
  • Engage with your stakeholders, regularly. Don’t wait until the project is live and expect them to accept your version of the story.

Reputation risk emerges when the expectations of stakeholders are not met. The best advice is to listen continually, engage frequently, and always be open.

You can sign up for the Morning Risk Report here. Let us know if you are concerned that you may be facing reputation risk. 

0 comments

Don’t Think Problem, Think Opportunity

|

In recent conversations, I’ve been struck by how many companies equate reputation management with negative sentiment.

At Standing, we believe reputation management is the opportunity to proactively strengthen your company, product or brand to be intentional about closing the perception gap of stakeholders. > read post

0 comments

I Feel Good: Connecting with Stakeholder Emotion to Improve Trust

|

At the center of reputation is the emotional connection that a stakeholder feels with the organization. Is it trusted and respected? Or viewed with skepticism and cynicism?

Businesses with good reputations are generally trusted. Trusted organizations attract better business partners and drive premium pricing. And they are more likely to have the freedom to operate in the way they choose, with fewer regulatory or legislative obstacles. > read post

0 comments

Your company’s reputation is making a public appearance

|

A recent Grist article on the public comment process said “the public comment system is the virtual equivalent of going to a protest.” 

I spend a lot of time on Regulations.gov, the home of the public comment system. I bet you’re thinking there are plenty more entertaining places on the Internet where I can spend my time, so let me tell you why I’m there. > read post

0 comments