By Leonard J. Ponzi, Ph.D. - Managing Partner, ReputationInc
& Charlie Garnett - Consultant, ReputationInc
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear” - Socrates Circa 400 B.C.
The concept of reputation management is not such a new idea but its importance has reached new heights in recent years. From the very beginning of the written word, it’s very clear that those whom have been weighing in on reputation seem to have understood the benefit of reputation management. At the very least, they have tapped into some universal truths.
The Latin writer Publilius Syrus, circa 50 B.C. noted, “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” Two thousand years later, Warren Buffet opined, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
In the 20th Century, the modern practice of public relations grew in part to meet the perceived need of companies to safeguard and burnish their image and combat the growing mass media industry. Twenty-five years ago, a second era in reputation management began. Executives began to agree with Publiluis’ conjecture that reputation was an intangible asset that is of the upmost importance and therefore needs to be not just protected, but actively managed. However, in practice, other priorities often came first: if the choice came down to a tangible profit against an intangible cost to reputation, for too many companies, profit won.
However, today we are seeing the dawn of a third era in reputation management.
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