The Reach Blog
Apr 22, 2010
A company needs enough Public Relations capital built up over time in order to protect against reputation risk. Take Toyota’s current PR crisis for example; we all know what happened; unsafe cars on the road, company delays in notification, deflecting responsibility and then finally owning up to situation, with more coming out daily. As a Public Relations and communications professional, I watched this unfold very carefully. Is Toyota going down?
Upon closer analysis, I would venture to guess, that Toyota is not going to go down. The reason? They have a strong net operating PR capital. They have built up their PR capital from the inside out over time, with long-term loyal customers, dealers, vendors, employees and much more. In fact, Toyota is presently going on the offensive with authentic and appealing marketing strategies that are putting all of their built up capital to work.
My understanding from some NE dealers is that they are having some of their greatest sales months ever. True or not, it leads me to believe that Toyota will survive this hit to their reputation, though they may have to invest a great deal over the next few years in building their capital back up.
Public Relations is about building and fostering long term relationships with your audiences and stakeholders; which doesn’t happen overnight or with one great story or even with a great number of fans or tweets. A company’s reputation is at risk in the same fashion as its financial situation and must be attended to on a regular basis. To illustrate further, let’s take the financial model and apply it to PR in terms of relationships.
In business, “we earn our right to do business every day,” by building up our PR capital over time with a focus on engaging your assets for the long term.
Next segment: How companies can get started in building up their PR capital.