News and coverage can contribute to a corporate reputation, but it’s rarely the catalyst. Earned media is usually the result of good ideas backed by actions long since set in motion.
This is where corporate leaders get confused about PR and it deteriorates from a strategic business initiative into clip counting. To be clear, in business, news coverage is important, but it’s not the beginning or the end of a corporate reputation.
PR isn’t an event, it’s a process that unfolds over time. It helps build a strong corporate reputation, which is important because research shows people buy from brands they know, like and trust.
And so the corporate reputation is the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML]. As always, below are three articles I’ve vetted and recommend for your perusal.
1) People buy from brands they follow on social media
There’s a correlation between purchase decisions and followers on social media. I don’t think we can say it’s causation but you also can’t say fans, friends and followers don’t matter. That’s my takeaway from Beki Winchel’s piece for the PR Daily titled Poll: Consumers more likely to buy from brands they follow online.
Citing a survey of 1,000 consumers from Sprout Social, she wrote:
“PR and marketing pros can get wrapped up in social media ‘likes,’ views, shares and retweets, instead of measuring the true effect their efforts have on boosting their respective organizations’ bottom lines.”
And later gives brands yet another reason to acknowledge customers on social media:
“Overall, 62 percent of survey respondents said they are either likely or somewhat likely to buy from a brand they follow online. Consumers’ inclination to buy increases by 14 percent after they’ve had a positive interaction with a brand online.”
Contrary to popular belief, I find tracking fans and followers is a useful social media metric, but just one indication in the context of many. However, this is not a license to become fixated on followers. This study is a good reminder about the importance of keeping a long view for social media – that people buy from brands they follow.
2) People buy from businesses with good reputations
The old cliché about no one getting fired for buying from IBM is really a statement about corporate reputation. Good corporate reputations are hard to build and easy to lose and for good reason: people buy from businesses with good reputations.
A piece in Marketing Charts titled, The Most Important Drivers of Corporate Reputation helps unpack determining factors. The report is based on data from the Reputation Institute analyzing what it says are the “100 companies globally with the best reputations in 2017” and found the top factors are as follows:
- Offers high-quality products and services
- Good value for money
- Meets customer needs
- Stands behind products
In an assessment of the impact, the Marketing Charts piece says:
“It’s notable that by far the biggest factor in corporate reputations is the perception of quality.”
While the perception of product quality ranks high, there were indeed other factors the report found contributing to reputation. These included corporate social responsibilities that even a capitalist like Adam Smith might get behind including ethical behavior and fairness in business matters.
See these related posts:
3 Strategic Ways to use Press Releases for Meaningful Influence
Visibility is a Commodity; Trust is the Ultimate Conversion
Research for PR Pros on B2B Messaging, Pitches and Clickbait [UML]
3) The Value of PR is in Building a Reputation
If standing behind products is a factor in establishing a reputation, then the veracity of words and deeds matter. PR is often out front of a business in this respect, as Jacqueline Strayer points out in a piece for the Institute for Public Relations titled Seven Reasons PR Matters More Than Ever.
“PR seeks out the truth,” she wrote and elaborated:
“Just as we are often on the front line being questioned, we also hold others to be accountable for what they have done and demand their answers. We work hard to surface what we need to know and ferret out falsehoods and innuendo that are not backed up by facts.”
Scandals aside, it’s usually not so dramatic in B2B tech PR. However, the overuse of the same old tired adverbs and adjectives every other company also claims is simply not credible. Everyone asserts descriptors like “innovative” and “market-leading” which is why reporters tune those pitches out.
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Warren Buffet Underscores the Value of Reputation
Photo credit: Frank Strong; Ancient Rome