My Weekly Reputational Encounters

October 12, 2008

My Weekly Reputational Encounters

So much to write about this week.  Reputation continues to astound me as it seems to be the thread that weaves itself through the fabric of the economic meltdown, absence of leadership and communications standstill plaguing organizations. Several items caught my eye this week.

  • Industry Reputation: A WSJ/NBC News poll reported that a mere 10% of Americans have confidence in the financial industry. This compares to 36% who said this they had confidence in the sector in 2000. This in an industry in peril unless someone speaks up and out.
  • Political Reputation: Love the fact that the Economist is giving my brethren around the world a chance to vote in the U.S. presidential election. Everyone can now vote for Obama or McCain at www.economist.com/vote 2008. This venerable magazine is also providing a global electoral map and will announce results right before November 4th. The voting deadline is November 1st so please cast your vote!
  • CEO Reputation: Learned that the Chairman of Chinese computer-maker  Lenovo, Yang Yuanquing, moved to North Carolina to better understand American culture and be better equipped to integrate American and Chinese colleagues. Truly deserves an A for effort.
  • Country Reputation: 62 companies from emerging markets populate the Fortune 500. Most of these companies come from the BRIC countries and this number is double what it was in 2003 when 31 emerging market companies made it to the popular list.
  • Legal Reputation Recovery:  Attorney Mark MacDougall of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has an expertise in “reputation recovery.”  Caught my attention since that is an expertise that I have written about extensively. MacDougall  ferrets out false allegations or lies and makes them  go away.  His investigatory work  (“runs what is arguable the world’s best fact-checking department, one that would put The New Yorker to shame”) is widely known. He is quoted by writer Seth Hettena in The American Lawyer as saying: “Our job is to kill the false story. Not the bad story, which is what a PR guy does.” If you are looking for a lawyer, he might be your guy.
  • Buffet’s Reputation: The Economist had an interesting sentence in an article on Warren Buffet’s rescue of Goldman Sachs and GE by investing billions in the companies during the financial meltdown. “Indeed, were he not a philanthropist, committed to giving away his billions, the tough terms he has negotiated with both firms might have prompted accusations that he is taking advantage of the desperate.”  As Sarah Palin would say, You Betcha.
  • Political Leadership  Reputation: Did you know that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has a blog?  That Putin is launching a new web site for Russia, www.premier.gov.ru .

On to the next week……

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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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