The setting is all right, you look great, your confidence level is at a record high and you almost feel invincible. You tell yourself that you just going to try it out and that it does not have to be serious.
So you flirt and you engage and all goes exactly according to plan and for that brief moment in time everything is perfect. But as quickly as you got into bed – you jump out and carry on with life feeling chuffed. Until that moment you walk into the boardroom and the prospective investor in your business offers you less than your asking price because he sees little value in your reputation.
Short term investment in your reputation will never result in long term gain in the currency of brand value. The value of your brand or business lies not only in the capital or assets of the business but largely on Reputation Capital. And a reputation built over night is generally not the one you want.
Prior to the explosion of the digital era, specifically social media, you and your ‘adhoc’ PR Company had some control over what was being said. This largely depended on your relationships with the media and the frequency of the news you had to tell. Today, your reputation and credibility extends way beyond these parameters and it is no longer feasible to dip in and out of the conversation. You need to own it or at least be in the passenger seat, and this requires you taking a long term view of your reputation strategy.
Choosing Mr / Ms Right
So deciding to make the commitment is the right business decision, the partner you choose is just as important – they should demonstrate that they are serious about you and your business.
But more importantly, your communication partner needs to tell you when you have ‘spinach stuck in your teeth’ long before you read it on Twitter.
Sharon Piehl is an Associate Director at FH SA.