The results of a recent survey by Forbes Insight on behalf of Deloittes has been released and put Reputation as a strategic risk focus for many of the executives interviewed.

The Deloittes survey entitled “Exploring Strategic Risk” saw 300 executives interviewed across the globe and hi-lighted the changes in their understanding of strategic risk.

Phil Maxwell, Director Enterprise Risk Management at Coca Cola commented “The speed of risks is so much greater now, and as a result you have to be more prepared – faster to respond than you were in the past.”

Reputation was cited as the third most important risk factor back in 2010, in 2013 it’s there at number one. 47% of the respondents cited social media as the main enabler/disruptor to threaten their business models.

In looking towards Igniyte’s own clients we see the growing importance that monitoring content on the internet play for companies. The ability to act quickly to deal with negative content online, saves reputation in the longer term. With the current Google algorithm often displaying results which are dated negative news articles or blogs – Online PR now plays a crucial role in terms of the ability to get positive coverage online quickly.

The survey also confirmed that companies are facing the issue that managing content on social media is of a higher importance than economic trends or brand in terms of a Board of Directors risk focus.

The report also makes reference to the increased importance and value of listening to customer feedback. This may be in the form of testimonials, online reviews or articles in the press. Negative feedback will always cause issues for companies, particularly if it can be found alongside other branded company content. At Igniyte 20% of our client face issues with negative reviews or comments online that rank highly for a company name search term. Whilst you may be able to move the content down or have defamatory comments removed, companies must tackle the issues that reviews are commenting on if they are to manage reviews in the longer term.

Managing company or brand reputation online usually requires one of two routes;

1. Dealing with crisis communications – companies need to react quickly to content that they’d rather not be seen online. Acting fast to remove and displace negative content is a corporate must. And know how to get content ranking speedily should be the focus of any marketing plan.

2. Monitoring & optimisation of current digital assets – ensuring that a company’s own PR and content is portraying the company in the best light and ranking for key terms. Protecting search results from negative or leaked content should be part of any corporate risk strategy.

Deloitte’s survey also forecasts to 2016 in terms of the risk strategies and whilst they predict that reputation may not be number one again – it still remains in the top 3 areas of concern for companies operating across the globe.

Article by Igniyte 21/10/2013.

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