Event Recap - How to Think Differently About Reputation

Dorothy JoanneSituated at the front of the Metropolitan Hotel’s cozy Library Room was Dorothy Sitek, president of Generation Communications and a delightful lady. As the room filled in and the hot water for tea depleted, it was clear that all guests were comfortable and ready for an intimate discussion with our speaker. Dorothy masterfully captured everyone’s attention with an image of a mother looking lovingly at her newborn child. She asked us what feelings the mother was having and without a second thought, the word “nurturing” rang out. “Mom Inc.,” is the corporation coined by Dorothy and the ultimate example of what having a good reputation looks and feels like.
 
A company’s reputation is strongest when it has a core purpose that goes beyond making money, but rather speaks to the heart. If that message is consistent in all communications, stakeholders will more likely trust a company with values that align with their own and forgive them during difficult times. Dorothy advised us that the profile of Whole Foods has had a continual rise because its core purpose uses nurturing language consistently.
 
The Anatomy of Reputation was then broken down with the visual metaphor on the screen of the human anatomy. We were asked to create an epitaph, which is usually used when honouring the dead. This short–but not so simple–exercise is useful in defining an organization’s core purpose. It is far better to build a company’s reputation before a crisis, which gives all communicators the opportunity to become their company’s reputation builders and storytellers.
 
By measuring reputation, the needs and desires of stakeholders can be revealed. Surveys are an effective way to gain information. Simultaneously, a company must deliver on every promise. While the internet has increased competition, a company that has earned trust through consistently communicating core values with a higher purpose will undoubtedly overcome any public relations challenge with greater ease. 
 
Epitaph Exercise:
 
Imagine your organization suddenly closes its doors tomorrow.
 
Effective immediately there is no more ____________________.
 
Everyone is fine. You all have good jobs to go to elsewhere and your reputations are excellent.
 
What would the world be missing without __________________.
 
Write a short one-paragraph epitaph that reflects what is lost and how _________________ will be remembered.
 

This event was hosted by CPRS Director of Professional Development and Director of ReadyGo Media, Joanne Probyn, and supported by volunteers Sydnee Ricci, Samantha Dutton-Jones, Christine Brett, and Carrice Wong (Public Relations students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Simon Fraser University). 

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