Surfing with Sharks

November 12, 2011

Surfing with Sharks

  Just returned from a multi-city tour of Europe where my colleagues and I talked about socializing your brand. This was based on our (Weber Shandwick) new recent research. We spoke to many clients and prospects about digital communications and the rewards and risks that come with this new territory.  Someone asked how you balance the reward-risk ratio when your senior management does not recognize that digital is so important to reputation today. In fact, our research found senior marketing/brand/comms executives saying that over half (52%) of a brand reputation today is attributed to how social it is. And this figure is expected to grow exponentially as time goes by. This gentleman said that being a social brand is akin to surfing with sharks. I loved the analogy because it explains how great it can feel to employ digital to communicate and give voice to a brand’s story and yet how unexpected it can be when you feel that shark ripping into your reputation.
The answer of course is being prepared. That’s what the best of companies do. Crisis readiness gives you the head start you need today, in both a digital and non-digital world. Reputation is increasingly hard to manage while swimming with the unknown.

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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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