Navigational and Reputation Terms

February 13, 2008

Navigational and Reputation Terms

koro.jpgThe Wall Street Journal had a clever article this week about how companies are increasingly using navigational terms to explain the challenges they are facing in this uncertain economy. Company spokespeople are fast using terms such as headwinds, tacking, winds of change, tailwinds, rough seas and ill winds. I have been guilty of using these types of terms too.  In my reputation work, I prefer medical terms to describe reputation events. Here are a few I like to use. 

  • Surgery is just one step on the road to recovery (Got this from the Economist)
  • The company is out of the operating room—though not in the clear.
  • The long-term prognosis remains uncertain.
  • The company looks healthier.
  • More surgery may be inevitable
  • Must get the company off the ventilator and breathing back on its own.
  • The company is out of intensive care.
  • The company’s arteries are clogged.

However, my favorite health-related description which I use in my book is as follows:  

  • The book is not merely about the initial emergency response.  Corporate Reputation: 12 Steps  to Safeguarding and Recovering Reputation is not just about what happens in the emergency room but more about what happens to the patient after the trauma has been diagnosed, life-saving intervention has been made, vital signs have stabilized, and the patient is out of immediate danger.  It is also about post-operative care and the long rehabilitation before a patient can cautiously begin life anew.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

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 corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Andy Beal
    Posted at 10:15h, 20 February Reply

    Your last paragraph reminds me of my favorite medical term for ORM – “reputation triage.”

  • Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
    Posted at 20:47h, 20 February Reply

    That’s a good one. I am happy being reminded of it. Will borrow if you dont mind. lgr

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