Top five reputation management new year’s resolutions for 2024
December 20, 2023
December is a time for family, friends, celebration and gratitude. It also offers us the opportunity to reflect on the past year and set goals for the next. Just as individuals tend to think deeply about their New Year’s resolutions, so too do organizations with strong values and a desire for positive impact. Business leaders who are resolved to inspire their employees, ensure collective focus, and build courage and perseverance throughout an organization, will set concrete performance goals every year. Similarly, organizations that prioritize reputation management will set annual objectives and commit to certain courses of action which will optimize their chances of building a resilient reputation.
To that end, below is a list of Five Reputation Management Resolutions that all organizations should consider prioritizing if they wish to foster reputational resilience and thrive in 2024:
1. Identify Your Reputation Management Team
Determine what person or team owns the reputation management function at your company. Yes, it should absolutely involve your marketing and communications people, but the team best equipped to mitigate reputational risk and ensure adherence to corporate values is usually cross-departmental.
2. Adhere to Organizational Values When Making Important Decisions
Make your corporate values visible internally and externally, and use them to guide decision-making. The sincerity and authenticity of nearly everything your company says and does in the public eye will be judged by whether the company behaved in accordance with its values and acted transparently. Know your values and live them.
3. Prepare Now for Inevitable Reputational Threats
It’s not a matter of if, but rather when, your organization will encounter a crisis. The best way to stay ahead of the game is to develop a crisis playbook that you can rely on when caught in the eye of a reputational storm. Once the crisis hits, it is too late to figure out your process for responding to a reputational threat. Do the work now to ensure (relatively) smooth sailing when the weather turns.
4. Reinforce Your Digital Foundation
In today’s interconnected world, conducting a comprehensive digital audit and optimizing your online presence is imperative to maintain and enhance your organization’s reputation. To strengthen your reputation online and prepare for an array of potential threats, it’s crucial to pay careful attention to SEO best practices, meticulously monitor search results pages and strategically utilize keywords and social media optimization. If you truly value stakeholder perception, you’ll want to leverage social intelligence tools to guide crisis response. All the elegant crisis messaging in the world won’t save your business if your values and prior accomplishments are not reflected in your digital presence.
5. Celebrate Your People and Amplify Their Success
Throughout your communications journey, be sure to spotlight your people. “Culture” is a popular buzzword in corporate communications circles these days. But there is a good reason for that. If your organization has a reputation for treating people fairly and with integrity, fostering collaboration and empowering a diverse array of employees, the chances are that when a crisis does emerge which arguably calls into question the organization’s virtue, your key stakeholders will give you the benefit of the doubt. Plus, it just makes good business sense. Shining a light on your people — whether it be amplifying their stories of perseverance, praising their exceptional accomplishments or showcasing the care that your organization puts into nurturing employees’ professional development — will help your business reach a broad range of performance goals.
As your organization reflects on the accomplishments, opportunities and challenges that defined 2023, and looks forward to 2024, I encourage you not to lose sight of reputation management. Far too many organizations view reputation as something that is reactively guarded, rather than proactively cultivated and nurtured. If you find yourself in that former group, I urge you to make 2024 the year you prioritize fostering reputational resilience.