Why Science-Based Reputation Management Is The Future Of Public RelationsWhy Science-Based Reputation Management Is The Future Of Public Relations

Reputation management is simply the controlling of or influencing the public and stakeholder perception of a firm or entity. It may seem like the latest PR buzzword, but in fact it is the future of public relations. At the heart of public relations and reputation management lies persuasion. All efforts are directed towards persuading the public to perceive a firm or entity in a particular way, to buy a product, or to use a service.

Persuasion is not just an art but a science. Through analysis of persuasive factors and influencers, one can actually create an effective strategy that is sure to succeed. One needs to identify why people act as they do – why do they choose product A over product B, when both have identical attributes? What do they feel towards a firm, and what triggers those feelings? For example, the legacy of CSR by Tata creates a very favourable perception of the firm. Even if it came to light that there were some discrepancies in the functioning of one of its companies, such as in the case of TPDDL, it creates nothing but a minor chink in the goodwill borne to the company in the hearts of the general public.

Other areas you need to define as a reputation management company is what kind of messaging and actions your client firm should engage in, to positively impact public preference. Who wields influence amongst your target consumer base is another factor that you need to consider. Targeting your communication to the influencer, or using them to communicate on your behalf automatically ensures you have the attention and perhaps even preference of their followers.

Once you have all your factors of persuasion in place and have identified influencers, it is much easier to craft a strategy that is sure to be successful. Your communications are no longer shots in the dark based on assumptions and interpretations, but a defined message based on clear and concrete facts.

Until recently, reputation management in India has been done only through communications. But for it to be effective there needs to be cohesiveness between a company’s actions and its communication. One way to ensure that this cohesiveness arises is for the reputation management firm to get more of a say in how the client firm does what it does. And this can be done by providing them with the cold hard facts.

By clearly defining the motivators and influencers that will help a firm persuade stakeholders in a favourable way, you can actually drive a change in not just what a firm says, but that its actions and messaging are cohesive. Science-based reputation management is the logical next step in the path of evolution of public relations.

by Akansh Malik
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Akansh Malik is a reputation management consultant with more than six years of experience in providing Reputation Management services to prolific clients across the board.
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