Asking the Tough Reputation Questions

August 01, 2011

Asking the Tough Reputation Questions

Interesting to hear that The Wall Street Journal is outright asking subscribers how the Murdoch scandal at News Corp might be impacting its own reputation. Many companies prefer not to bring up an issue they are facing, even when it is often the elephant in the room.  Some companies, however, think that surveying customers about an issue or self-inflicted crisis is a smart way to demonstrate that they care enough about their reputation to ask the tough questions or they simply want to know in the name of transparency.  Apparently the WSJ is asking subscribers, of which I am one, “What impact, if any, do the illegal acts by News of the World journalists have on your impression of The Wall Street Journal?” or something close to that. And my favorite question from what I have read this morning is whether the CEO of a company should be held responsible “for all the actions of all its employees, no matter how large the corporation is” on a 1 to 10 scale (disagree completely —>agree completely).  I think I know the answer to that one. My guess is that 75% to 85% of subscribers, AKA business executives, will give this statement an 8/9/10.  All in all, as my colleague said to me….a brave move.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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