CEO Reputation Management Solutions
In today’s connected world, the reputation of the CEO of any company is very visible and more important than ever before. Here are our online reputation management tips:
Most CEOs are aware that their reputation is under the magnifying glass and being scrutinised.
They are reminded of this fact daily.
Every time they look at their social media presence, search results, Google search, speak to the press or at a trade show, meet with investors, or make major decisions their reputation is assessed.
But, they often underestimate how great the impact of their reputation is, not just for themselves, but on their companies.
The days of trying to keep a low profile are over. The reality, these days, is that individuals in high profile positions will have to live a high profile life, media attention and have positive content everywhere.
Now is the time for all CEOs to actively manage their online reputations to establish a strong positive reputation to gain credibility and trust with shareholders, the media, customers and their workforce.
Their reputation directly influences the corporate reputation and hence the valuation of their companies. They now need to be proactive to manage and protect their online reputation, search results and positive content.
Also, when there is a personal or company crisis, a CEO must have already established a good online reputation which then needs to be properly managed to avoid to irrecoverably damage their reputation.
In recent years, there have been many high profile examples when a CEO has tarnished their own reputation by saying or doing something inappropriate with far reaching consequences.
Also, when something goes wrong in a company the CEO’s reputation is directly affected even if there’s nothing he or she could have done to have averted the problem.
The reputation of a company still relies primarily on the quality of its products and services, followed by its financial performance.
But, increasingly, corporate branding driven in large part by the CEO individual reputation management, is a leading factor in a company’s success. Recent research has indicated that a strong corporate brand is becoming just as important as strong product brands.
The CEO is expected to be decisive, inspirational and motivational with a clear company vision to secure a good CEO reputation and create a strong corporate brand.
The strong brand image and positive corporate reputation management feeds back and increases the sense of product quality. Thus, corporate reputation and company market value become linked.
Customer goodwill is vital. Customers will usually be looking for a positive CEO who appears to be customer focused and who is perceived as honest and ethical with no negative search results.
They will often consider a CEO’s reputation before buying products and services from or endorsing a particular company. This is especially true if the business is a long-term service provider or if they work directly with the client.
They can take into consideration the support of controversial causes or policies, personal opinions, and anything that the CEO has said or done in the past.
A CEO’s personal opinion on any given subject can quickly turn loyal customers against them if it conflicts with the goals of their company or with customer attitudes.
Any resultant negative online publicity will immediately show up and remain in negative search results. They need reputation management tactics in place.
The customer’s perception of todays CEO has a direct impact on their opinion of a company’s reputation.
The CEO Industry Expert
A positive CEO should strive to be seen as an industry expert, a thought leader and visionary at the leading edge of their particular business. An online reputation manager can help establish this.
With the help of a PR agency they should voice opinions, analyse trends, predict changes and publish this online informally as an article or in an interview context or as research and case studies for personal branding.
Continued authoritative publications will cement the solid belief that they are an industry expert and have a solid vision of the future which can be trusted.
The reputation of the companys CEO or business leader will normally have an influence on the company investments.
A CEO with a strong reputation will attract investors but conversely their reputation could detract possible investment. It can also influence how much and when a potential investor chooses to invest.
CEO reputation is particularly important if they are creating a start-up, will manage the investment funds themselves or will have considerable influence on how money is allocated. Investors are likely to carefully consider the CEOs reputation before any involvement.
Positive Media Relations
A CEO’s reputation affects how they are portrayed in the media. Not just the individual themselves, but the company as well.
Typically, media regarding the company’s CEO tends to set the overall tone for any media coverage of the company as a whole. It can mean the difference between a good or a bad business reviews.
Generally, it is good to get positive media attention which helps to promote the company brand image by placing it in the public eye.
But, journalists and reporters will carefully consider a CEO’s reputation before arranging an interview. They will ask themselves if an interview with the CEO fits well with their news story. Would it be likely that a quote from them would be informative or enlightening? Do they support causes or have views that are pertinent to the story?
Are they friendly towards the media? Occasionally, a CEO’s unique reputation can influence what angle a journalist takes when writing the story and can be particularly beneficial for the company he represents.
People usually want to work with and believe in a company that has a CEO with a good solid reputation steering its course. Unsurprisingly, a CEO’s reputation greatly influences how well a company can recruit and retain the best employees.
Potential employees will research the CEO and business leaders as well as the company who is interested in hiring them before accepting a position.
They will check that the CEO’s values fits with theirs and that his company has a mission statement and culture in which they can thrive.
Every company wants to retain good employees. They can also be the best and most active advocates not just for company brand, but for the CEO reputation online personally as well. Employees like to see their CEO reach out and engage with their workforce.
This will enhance the CEO’s reputation and ensure continued loyalty.
Crisis Protection & Management
A strong CEO reputation premium builds credibility, goodwill, trust and strong links that have the power to protect the CEO and their company from crisis if it occurs. Being proactive and working with an online reputation manager will pay dividends if something does go wrong.
People are more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt if they already have a strong positive reputation and some may even provide active support further limiting any possible damage to their reputation.
They can also manage the crisis more successfully with press releasses if they already have a strong online presence and personal branding in place and have taken control of and can dictate most of what’s being written about them online.
They can ensure that predominantly positive and factual information about them overwhelms any negative stories.
It should be noted that part of taking control of online presence is taking control of domain and brand names. It is important that the CEO owns and controls the .com, .org, etc. for their own name, even if they don’t intend to use the domain, so that others can’t.
The same is true for the social media presence and other brand outlets. The CEO should claim their name where possible.
We live in a society that intensely scrutinizes all leaders, waiting for them to make a mistake and then exposing it. A CEO reputation premium is no exception. Unfortunately, many wait until they are faced with a problem before managing their online presence, by which time it is possibly too late.
Online Reputation management tips
In conclusion, the value of a strong CEO reputation online has never been greater than it is today. It is essential not to only focus on corporate reputation management tactics, but to also increasingly focus on individual CEO reputation to maintain success.
There is a strong link between CEO and company reputation and market value.
The CEO needs to maintain strong, positive, public online visibility by managing and being in control of it.
Reputations are volatile and are constantly being reevaluated as new content appears in the media, on their social media presence, blogs and Google search. CEOs have no better choice than to counter with strong positive content marketing.