A bit of a reputation problem

It’s tricky, this reputation-thing. And I think we, in PR, aren’t helping. Because some of us talk about reputation a lot, and talk like it’s some virginal, pure, pristine thing. (See also ‘trust’). Like everyone’s got one, and it’s the same one, and you have to guard it with a chastity-belt.

How about we stop talking about reputation? And instead start talking about brand positioning, brand perception.

Brands (good ones) are packed full of human personality, with all the character, nuances and – yes – flaws (as well as the attractiveness, of course) that come with it.

It’s like Jeremy Clarkson. You love him, or can’t stand him. But you know him. Because of his big-old personality. So, when he punches someone, and gets sacked, you’re not surprised. And maybe a few people who liked him, went off him a bit. And the people who can’t stand him had their instincts affirmed.

Was his reputation destroyed?

No. He’s back with the ‘Grand Tour’ and ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’. Same old lovable / hateable Jeremy. Jeremy doesn’t think about / manage his reputation. He’s brand-Clarkson.

So, let’s banish this delicate, coy, Victorian concept of protecting reputation along with other outmoded ideas – like chivalry, wearing silk top hats to the opera and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Let’s build brands. Strong ones. Meaningful ones. Brands are more resilient.

Or, if we’re hooked on the reputation-word, then can we only talk about it in a more active way?

Can we focus on building a reputation for something.

Can we create ‘a bit of a reputation’?

If your organisation, business, brand hasn’t got a reputation for something, go out and get yourself one. And get precisely one ‘bit’.

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