More and more companies realize that for a company to be successful not only being popular due to image cultivation is important, but also a good reputation, i.e. to be trusted by clients and the social environment. The same view is taken by the authors of a recent report published in the English Media Guardian online magazine. According to them, as a consequence of this development “reputation management” is becoming the engine of growth in the PR business.
Thus, reputation management which means long-term development and cultivation of a company´s image among the general public, is given the special emphasis by PR activities. In the wake of bad headlines following accusations of lacking security regulations faced by British Airways, airport operator BAA or the food producer Cadbury, the necessity of a new long-term approach of PR advicers to reputation management is also underligned by business analysts.
Says Christopher Satterthwaite, CEO of Chime Communications which is the biggest English PR agency: “Given that we live in an IT age in which everybody can find out anything about anybody else for me the necessity of reputation management is obvious such that it would be irresponsible, if no measures were taken in this respect.”
A good reputation and its professional cultivation are even more important to locally rooted small and mediu-sized entities than to major enterprises given that smaller companies can profit strongly from a sound basis of confidence in their immediate local enviroment. This is all the more important given that confidence is always built around people and not structures. This aspect, however, is one of the particular strengths of SMEs which are led by people who most of the time are directly identified with their company´s history in their local community.