If you are worried about damaging your reputation, there’s no other place to look to but hiring a reputation management company. Monitoring reputational risk is not reacting to a reputation crisis situation—it is continuously ensuring that your reputation is at bay in order to avoid a threatening situation from occurring. Learn how you can be aware of the determinants that affect reputational risk.
First, your stakeholders are human and thus unpredictable. It is only a matter of time before they begin to change expectations of you. We have seen this happen with countless companies before. Perhaps you embarked on an activity that is now considered unethical by stakeholders. Your practices may be retrograde, and you shouldn’t ignore what your stakeholders are thinking about you. What they think about you is very much your problem—ignoring the change of rules is only going to bring you on a downward spiral. Accept the validity of your stakeholders’ opinions and change your practices to meet their expectations. You must also recognize the cultural shifts in attitude that exist between countries and regions. A pharmaceutical company in India may have less stringent rules and ethics versus one in the United States. You may have heard about the pharmaceutical company, Merck, receive a heap of backlash for their entrance of the arthritis drug Vioxx. In 2004, the medication was rightfully pulled off the market because it was said to cause strokes and heart attacks amongst patients. North American medicine regulations thus began to change after this controversy, enforcing that drug companies must disclose more detailed information about their clinical trial results and analyses. All drugs on the market must have received standard regulatory approval.
If your company leads with a more traditional mindset, it may be of a great concern for you to hire a reputation management company to examine your environmental climate and the effects that internal decisions can have on your reputation. As norms are rapidly changing, your consumers’ expectations are on track with the same speed. Their expectations may change for, say, pollution rights—and your reputation management company will make sure that you adapt your policies to meet these changes in attitude.