The Big Win from a Great Crisis Plan


Why do we go to all that trouble and expense to prepare our organizations just in case a bad event strikes?

After all crises rarely happen – and it takes a lot of effort to get your defenses in great shape.

In case you were wondering, let’s remind ourselves of the one, really important, thing that is irreplaceable should it be damaged.

Your reputation.

I spent 10 years with Ogilvy and so frequently quoted an old David Ogilvy piece of wisdom, that people thought it was my insight (*blush*).

Here’s what the founding father of modern marketing said:

Brand is your promise. Reputation is whether you live up to that promise.”

You break that promise and it is a long road to recover your reputation.

Ask Boeing, United Airlines, Equifax, Wells Fargo and Volkswagen – all blue-chip major companies that are still digging themselves out of a reputation hole after facing huge, damaging issues in recent years.

We talked in a recent blog about trust as the secret ingredient in a crisis plan.

Trust is an important element in reputation, but there are more factors to consider – many more it turns out.

The leading global PR agency Weber Shandwick recently published a study in which it looked at more than 20 factors that drive corporate reputation.

The study captured why reputation really matters.

Weber Shandwick looked closely at companies that achieve significantly higher financial returns than average. 

Executives at these organizations attributed an average of 76% of their market value to their company’s reputation.

The study examined what really matters - what really contributes to a strong corporate reputation.

The conclusion?

Everything matters!

Here’s the top ten drivers:

  1. Quality of products or services
  2. Quality of employees
  3. Quality of customer service
  4. Safety of products or services
  5. Respect for customer or employee privacy
  6. Product or service innovation
  7. Industry leadership
  8. Financial performance
  9. Value for the cost or price of products or services
  10. Ethics and value

However, the % differences for each factor on the top ten list were small, as was the differences in the ratings for a further dozen factors on the longer list.

The report also noted that more than three-quarters of executives whose companies have gone through a crisis in the past three years, said that the crisis was ‘preventable’.

Which brings us back to why we spend so much time, effort and money in managing issues and building crisis preparedness resources.

If you don’t - you are risking one of the most valuable and fragile assets of your organization, your reputation.

Do you feel your reputation is adequately protected? Need to strengthen your issues management and crisis preparedness resources? Learn more about how our award-winning crisis app, In Case of Crisis, trusted by more than 750 organizations worldwide, will help you. Click here for an app demo and have your questions answered.