It was a strange thing – I heard news of the Dunnes Stores strike first thing this morning on Newstalk and immediately without hearing any of the detail I was on the side of the workers.
I wondered why did I think that automatically?
The truth is I never hear any good things about the company.
I don’t hear about charities they support, I don’t hear about a focus on Irish products, I don’t hear about how they work closely with suppliers, I don’t see them being helpful on social media, I don’t hear about how much they contribute to the Irish economy and I don’t hear about new jobs that have created.
Instead I remember the strikes of old and the trouble and controversy that the company has had down through the years.
This doesn’t mean for a second that they do none of these things – it just means I don’t know about the good things they do and as a result when I hear a negative about them I tend to believe it.
When we use the words ‘building your reputation‘ it is a powerful analogy because your reputation is something that is built over time.
It is a culmination of all of the things you do; how you look after suppliers, your team and most importantly your customers. It also includes how you interact with the general community – while we are all in business to make a profit it is vital that we respect our environment and those around us and genuinely try to be a good, responsible corporate citizen.
Besides doing good it is vital that this is communicated clearly and effectively so that people understand that this is a business that genuinely cares about something more than just making money.
When an ill wind blows it is vital that your reputation has been built carefully and robustly so that it can withstand it easily and that you will have the support of your customers, investors, the media and the general public in these circumstances.
“There is a strike at Dunnes”
If a good job was done here our first thought when we hear this should be “They are a great company who are really responsible and fair – there must be two sides to that story”
Build your reputation … it will protect you
Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.