Every one of us at KONE is a guardian of our reputation. Here are three things that I think everyone should know about reputation management:
- Trust. Our success relies on people supporting us by buying our products, investing in us, promoting our point of view and delivering on our strategy. To do this they need to trust we will deliver on our promises. This trust is built on a good reputation.
- Performance. The foundation for any great reputation is great performance and a bad reputation is usually the result of poor performance or even unethical behavior. Bad performance cannot be swept away with communications, but communicating badly will definitely make things even worse.
- Transparency. The media has always had a watchdog role, keeping an eye on companies, but in today’s world you can also count on millions of other people reporting on companies’ good or bad performance – for example, the thousands of athletes reporting from the Sochi Winter Olympics via social media. In today’s world, good and bad news travel faster than ever before.
Reputation management is something we at the KONE communications department do on a daily basis. Together with my communications colleagues throughout KONE, we create and distribute content that tells people all about what a great company KONE is in terms of our innovative products and services, excellent financial performance, solid sustainability record and KONE as a great place to work.
We also spend time on protecting our reputation and whenever there is the possibility for a negative issue to escalate, we prepare to communicate about it.
Having said that, I don’t think you can simply outsource reputation management to us communications professionals. All of us can help to support our reputation by doing our best. This means that we deliver on our promises, keep an eye on potential issues, and proudly share our great stories.