Why Reputation Matters

August 1, 2018 • 2 minute read

As part of our report ‘The Independent Voice: Corporate Reputation and the Role of the Non-Executive Director’ we are investigating the role of the Non-Executive Director in corporate reputation management.

In an era of 24/7 news coverage, social media and an increase in brand/customer interaction, the safeguarding of reputation has never been more important to corporate success.

Yet, the challenge for many businesses has been the supposed intangibility of reputation – often seen as much more difficult to define and quantify compared to more traditional assets, like property or goods. However, this is swiftly changing, and reputation is increasingly considered a valuable asset in-and-of-itself that has the potential to generate huge competitive benefits and which can be drawn upon during times of crisis.

The dawn of globalisation and digital connectivity has changed the game for corporate reputation. On the one hand we have seen an increased demand for transparency – compelling more robust communications and reputation management – and, on the other, far more data and stakeholder touch points which enable much more actionable reputation insights, as well as information on the impact of corporate reputation on financial performance and the ‘health’ of businesses.

Although responsibility for reputation management should remain with the CEO and C-Suite, Infinite Global’s report finds that the Non-Executive Director (NED) has an essential – but not yet fully realised – role to play in the management of reputation in modern business organisations.

Respondents to our survey agreed that scrutiny, from media, the public, and other stakeholders is increasing – driven largely by the expectation of transparency and the availability of information through digital sources. In this climate, the particular status and skill set of the NED as an independent voice, with a focus on governance and with the ability to bridge internal and external stakeholders gives them a unique and valuable perspective on corporate reputation. Boards should take advantage of this resource, and more collaboration between professional communicators and Non-Execs is required to share knowledge and raise awareness of the role of NEDs in reputation management.

Click here to download the full report ‘The Independent Voice: Corporate Reputation and the Role of the Non-Executive Director’

Tal Donahue is Senior Account Manager at Infinite Global.