The research study, jointly undertaken by SenateSHJ and the Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed more than 80 of New Zealand’s chairs, CEOs and senior managers for their views on reputation management.
It found that while nearly 70 per cent of corporate leaders view reputation as one of their primary assets, and nearly two thirds consider reputational damage high risk, nearly half admitted their boards needed to give it more focus.
Forty per cent of respondents also said they did not have crisis communications plan in place. Half of those said it was because of ‘lack of awareness’, while others claimed it wasn’t regarded as priority.
“Given the number of regulatory and corporate crises that have occurred in the past year, and the way the media and public increasingly react to such events, it is critical that companies are prepared for when something goes wrong,” says SenateSHJ chief executive Neil Green.“
High stakes issues and crisis management are modern day reality. Knowing that company has crisis management plan and the proven capability to manage crisis should be the things directors reassure themselves of first.”
IoD chief executive at the time of the survey, Ralph Chivers, said it was encouraging to see that so many leaders recognise the importance of reputation – and that they understand they have key part to play in building and protecting it. But for number of companies, the level of investment, in board time and company resources, needed to be increased to match.
“We hope the findings inspire company leaders to take more proactive role in managing and protecting their reputation,” he said.
The research also reveals many New Zealand businesses are still relatively unaware of the reputational risks of social media, instead seeing it as an opportunity to develop viewpoint.
Seven per cent of respondents said they see social media as potential threat, with more than 40 percent seeing it more as an opportunity to develop viewpoint. little over 40 percent said they are neutral about the risks or benefits of social media.
“Too many respondents only see social media as channel for positive outreach, thereby disregarding it as channel that could create reputational risk and harm. This is concerning,” said Green.“
Reputational storms are hitting harder and faster than ever before. Directors and CEOs need to understand that how their companies engage in social media will have disproportionate impact on corporate reputation.“
There is no question the rules for engagement are not the same as traditional media. It’s altered the way we communicate. It has changed the window through which consumers watch, discuss and engage with companies and brands. And vice versa.
“New media can be valuable tool in helping develop your reputation, but it has to be handled with care. carefully built reputation can be lost in minutes, if the tide of social media turns against you.”
For more information, or for copy of the report go to: