Crisis of Character: Building Corporate Reputation in the Age of Skepticism

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Books, Featured Articles

Book: Crisis of Character: Building Corporate Reputation in the Age of Skepticism
Author: Peter Firestein

We all know that one of the biggest problems the sales department has is getting your potential customers to believe that your products will do what you say they will do. They have to believe the services work as advertised to spend their money. This is the age of the informed consumer. As we begin to come out of the recession, people are cautious about how they spend their money. Even the wealthy are more careful about spending their money. The author puts corporations on notice that ?Reputation is the strongest determinant of any corporation?s sustainability. Stock prices can always come back. Business Strategies can always be changed. But then your reputation is gone, its retrieval is difficult, long-term and uncertain.?

After watching corporations, I think everyone wonders if they care about reputation, especially if the corporation is going under. At some point, no one at Enron cared about their reputation and negative impact on stake holders. The 7 Strategies of Reputation Leadership are a great list start from. The Case studies are interesting. The author outlines the steps to building corporate reputation. I wonder what the job title of the person who is responsible for this is.
The section on Reputation training covers ethics, internal communication and compliance. However the chapter on Tell Your Corporate Story disappoints as there is no information about media training. Getting on camera with no training can make your reputation worse because you do not come across to the public the way you want to. Most of the book is focused on internal dialogs among the employees of the company.

Dealing with the outside world is a big part of managing your reputation; however the author begins and ends with what is going on inside of the corporation itself with the goal of perfecting that. The book has lots of good case studies to plump it out.

This book is an L.A. 7