Reputation agility

June 30, 2014

Reputation agility

It took me awhile for it to sink in but the hottest word around these days is agile or agility. I keep hearing it everywhere. It is used in marketing, technology, public relations, innovation circles and more places than I can count.  I did not know that I was missing out until I first heard it at a CMO conference. Now it keeps popping up in daily work conversations. I have to say that my friends and family do not exactly use it to describe their latest and greatest (“I had the most agile brunch” or “Our vacation spot was as agile as I’ve ever experienced.” or “Your facebook page is adorably agile.”)

I thought I’d give it a test.  In 2009,”agile” appeared 920,000 times when I searched on Google. In the past year, Google says it is been used 13,200,000 times. I don’t even dare to guess how many percentage points of an increase that is.  I know it is a lot but this much speaks volumes about its adoption.

I decided that I should consider attaching “agile” to my favorite word, reputation, or someone else might beat me to it. I think I am in luck. When I searched for “agile reputation,” there were only 552 mentions. Jackpot.  I might even have to write a book on this since I could be the one and only to uncover an entirely new white space.  Perhaps having an agile reputation will be a good thing in the future because companies might begin shifting their positioning with the wind and people will vote it most admired for its agility. There might even be a Fortune feature on the most agile companies in the U.S. Or Forbes might even get into the agility game. 

Okay, enough with the sarcasm. It does not really work with what I know to be true — reputation longevity. Reputations are built for the long-term, not for the short-term. Agile reputation as a term of art might just not be a good new trend for me to talk or blog about. I will let someone else take it off my hands. 

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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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