1st Edition

Reputation in Business Lessons for Leaders

By Stuart Thomson Copyright 2023
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    A compelling mix of reputation management, crisis leadership and the role of politics in business, this book provides unique practical steps that leaders can take to protect their reputations and those of the organisations they head in an ever more open social media-led world.

    Although leaders increasingly recognise the vital intangible asset that reputation represents, too many do not really understand what reputation is and the steps that should be taken to build it and their corporate value. Given the range of factors depending on the organisation, each aspect of its complex reputational story needs to be unpicked if a reputation is to be built, maintained and protected. This step by-step-guide offers advice on how to develop the strategies needed to do this, provides clear lessons throughout from a range of experts - and distinctively, looks beyond the corporate sector to charities, governments, NGOs and the public sector.

    Boards, trustees, non-executive directors, senior management, and leaders of all types of organisations need to consider the steps that should be taken to build, maintain and defend their reputation, and that means knowing what their reputation is and the audiences that matter most to them. This book is the roadmap.

    Introduction 1. Reputation Building 2. Getting Ahead of Reputation 3. The Media: A Study in Pressure 4. The Charity Challenge 5. Politics: Best Friend or Worst Enemy? 6. Anticipating The Attack  Conclusion: The Ongoing Challenge


    Stuart Thomson is a public affairs and communications specialist, published author and blogger. He leads the public affairs consultancy at law firm BDB Pitmans, has appeared on Sky News, BBC 5 Live, BBC World and BBC's Radio 4's Today programme, and has been a judge for the Public Affairs News, PR Week, Public Affairs and the European Public Affairs awards. He was listed as one of the Top 100 Public Affairs Consultants by Total Politics, shortlisted for the Institute of Directors and Chartered Instistute of Public Relations Director of the Year award, and won the Best Current Affairs Influencer category at Vuelio’s Online Influence Awards 2020. Stuart is also an honorary research fellow at the University of Aberdeen.

    "More than ever, political engagement is vital for businesses as they navigate a complex regulatory environment and seek to manage their reputations. This book captures the need to take that engagement seriously and provides a helpful guide to that important process."
    Sir Robbie Gibb, Former Director of Communications No. 10 Downing Street and Senior Adviser to Kekst CNC

    "Events around the world confirm almost every day that your organisation’s reputation is something you cannot afford to leave unmanaged. No matter what you are doing, or how you try to keep a low profile or avoid controversy, you cannot leave it to manage itself. What you communicate as a leader, and how you communicate it is critical to maintaining a positive reputation with your stakeholders. This book sets out the latest thinking on how to rise to this challenge and shows how investing in good communications will pay you major reputational dividends."
    —Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)  

    "The critical importance of reputation to every organisation has never been clearer: it defines success or failure. This book is the definitive analysis of this vital topic by a world-respected communications expert." 
    —Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA

    "A timely book when many of us in leadership positions find ourselves recognising the importance of maintaining and enhancing one’s reputation like never before! Reputation, like one’s body and mind, does require regular maintenance – we ignore it at our peril, and this book provides a helpful and considered structure for exploring the intricacies of reputational management . With lots of useful reminders, lessons and case studies, there is no excuse for any reader of this new masterclass book to fall into bad habits or traps of poor reputation management. A must read for success!"
    —Victoria Hills, Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute

    "It isn't enough to just 'do it well' because you also need to 'tell it well'. And you must do this with authenticity. Reputation management is an art but one that can be learned. This wonderful book, using well chosen scenarios and case studies, presents vey practical ways and means of doing just that, in plain English."
    —Dr Javad Khan OBE, Chair, NHS Integrated Care Board; Former Chief Executive, Barnardo's

    "Major corporate brands are more valuable than ever, yet they face a business environment that is risker than ever. Effective reputation management is no longer about saying the right thing. It’s about living one’s values, being transparent, engaging stakeholders, resolving political disputes, and dealing with recurrent crises and controversies. With useful case studies and data, Stuart Thomson’s new book explains how leading companies (and charities) exceed stakeholder expectations and gain the benefit of the doubt. Most impressively, the book details the close relationship between reputation risk and political risk."
    —Douglas G. Pinkham, President, Public Affairs Council 

    “At this time of seismic shift, reputation, trust and transparency have never been more important, or more complex to navigate. Sustainability and ethics are quite rightly under increasing scrutiny from both colleagues and customers. This book is full of great case study examples, making the lessons tangible and relevant whatever your sector. It’s an invaluable handbook for every leader.”
    —Minnie Moll, Chief Executive, the Design Council

    "As entrepreneurs build businesses, they need to put reputation management on their priority list. Not focusing on it soon enough risks a business’ long term prospects. This book provides business leaders with the guidance they need, making reputation management accessible to all. It is a book rich in ideas and practical lessons."
    —Philip Salter, Founder, The Entrepreneurs Network

    Those with reputation management squarely in their job description will have fought, at one time or another, for a far wider appreciation of its importance and impact. Far from being manageable by communications personnel alone, reputation warrants universal and top-down focus to be at its best. This book exposes that fact and lays out practical ways for an organisation to consider its approach.
    —Nicola Green, Chief Communications & Corporate Affairs Officer – Virgin Media O2

    “What has a book called Reputation in Business got to say to charities and campaign groups? An awful lot, as it happens, both in cautionary tales and sound advice on good practice. Perhaps the best advice of all is to focus on the importance of reputation before a crisis hits you.”
    —Shaun Spiers, Executive director, Green Alliance

    “Paul Krugman, speaking of the economy, famously said that “productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything”. Stuart Thomson makes a compelling case that for business leaders reputation is almost everything. As well as providing a good overview of some of the emerging issues that affect reputation and providing examples of good - and poor - practice, the book also has checklists to help leaders manage the issues they face — from getting social media right to handling a select committee.  In the 2020s, any Chief Executive who isn’t thinking about these issues is missing out on almost everything.”
    —John Dickie,​ Chief Executive, Business LDN


    "A pragmatic and philosophical guide to reputation management in our increasingly complex world. Packed with instantly applicable learning and wisely written, always with a twinkle in the eye".
    Christine Elliott, Veteran Business Leader and Board Director