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Why and How PR deals with Corporate Reputation, Image, Positioning and Identity.?

Every organization in today’s IT led world is witnessing unforeseen levels of competition for clients, customers, capital, talent, resources and space in media for message communication & coverage.
Combine it with various challenges and uncertainty in business and economic environment, it’s not easy for your organization to maintain desired level of goodwill, reputation and growth.   
To prevail these situations reputation becomes one of your most crucial assets and a critical factor for success. Your organization can actively plan and build a good reputation through Public Relations and effective Message Communication.
Public Relations is about reputation — the result of what you do; what you say and what others say about you. Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding, support and influencing opinion and behavior.
Drivers of Good Reputation.
Business wisdom says that businesses can be built overnight, but reputations are earned over time. Building a reputation can be as much a part of the strategic plan as growing market share or increasing net income and profit. The five drivers of reputation provide the foundation.
Distinctiveness
Good reputations have distinctiveness in the minds of consumers and other important audiences. Dell is the easiest way on the planet to purchase a customer computer for personal or business use. Amazon sells a larger selection of books than any bookstore. Apple's Macintosh is the personal computer of choice for graphic designers and artists. Companies must work hard to differentiate themselves from peers and carve out a distinct positioning based on their own unique vision, values, strengths and strategies.
Focus
Good reputations have a focus that is unwavering and uncompromising. Southwest Airlines has one class, one kind of airplane, and a singular commitment to the customer. The company is also one of the few airlines not in serious financial trouble.
Consistency
Consistency of action and communications with all stakeholders is one of the driving forces behind a positive reputation. Lack of consistency can destroy a company's reputation. MD’s and CEOs who spend as much time in the field as they do in the boardroom send a message of consistency. Companies that resolve customer issues quickly and take steps to ensure they don't happen again send a message of consistency.
Identity
Johnson & Johnson could have fallen apart when the Tylenol crisis struck in 1982. It might have if not for the one-page Johnson & Johnson credo, which starts out, "We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services." This 70-year-old credo gives Johnson & Johnson an identity that serves as a moral compass for its actions. What are the chances that Enron had a similar credo?
Transparency
Speaking of, Enron is singularly responsible for elevating the importance of "transparency" in the English language. Transparency was once used primarily when referring to an overhead projector. Transparency, in a business or governance context, is honesty and openness. Transparency and accountability are generally considered the two main pillars of good corporate governance. The implication of transparency is that all of an organization’s actions should be scrupulous enough to bear public scrutiny. Increasingly, the nature of  social media and other communications means that even actions intended to be secret may be brought into the public's awareness, despite an organization's best efforts to keep them hidden. Great reputations always upheld a sense of transparency. 
Reputation – Always at Risk
Reputation is the greatest risk that an organization can face. As Warren Buffett have said:” It can take twenty years to build a good reputation, and only five minutes to destroy it”.
An Institution’s and individual’s reputation is always at risk, and if you do not believe that, just google the topic. From personal scandals to business malpractice, the list of reputation risk failure are staggering. 
What is Reputation, and why should you protect it all cost?
Reputation Risk is the risk that an activity, action or stance performed or taken by a company or its officials will impair its image in the community and/or the long-term trust placed in the organization by its stakeholders, resulting in the loss of business and/or legal action.
Reputation Risk can be loss of earnings that occur in a situation of negative public opinion. It normally results in loss of sales, share value decreases and breakdown of relationships. Many a crises have led to stock price decreases and impact in other areas of the business.
And Reputation Risk also emerges when the reasonable expectations of stakeholders are not met. It essentially involves taking a look at each stakeholder’s needs and expectations, matching the drivers of an organisation’s reputation and minimizing the gaps that exist.
Understand the Difference
Since we are focusing on Reputation, we must differentiate and understand relationship between reputation & related concepts such as image, positioning and Corporate identity. Every organization has these attributes, and a lot of organizational resources are given to creating, managing, rebuilding and maintaining them. But what does each term mean?
Reputation in general, is the overall impression of an organizaton. Based on the organization's images within particular publics, reputation is the prevailing impression that people have of an organization. As a composite reflection of the organization, reputation does not vary from one person to another. Reputation generally lags behind an organization's conscious attempt to affect the way people perceive it.
Image (aka perception) is what people think about the organization. More specifically, it is the impact made by all messages on each particular public. Image is based on both word and deed -- on the verbal, visual and behavioral messages, both planned and unplanned, that come from an organization, leaving an impression on an individual observer or a particular public. Thus image can be inconsistent, varying from one public to another, and varying from one time to another.
Positioning is a process of managing how an organization wants to be seen and known by its publics, especially in relation to other similar organizations and the products or services associated with them. The organization first determines what position it holds among various publics and what position it would like to hold, and then develops a communication campaign to maintain or modify its current position. As a concept drawn from marketing, positioning specifically deals with establishing and maintaining a distinctive place for an organization vis-a-vis its competitors. It is the organization's competitive posture.
Corporate identity is the manner in which the organization consciously projects itself outward. Identity is the planned, visual expression of an organization's personality. It is a category of images that identify the organization and either associate it with others or distinguish it from others. Identity involves the choices an organization makes about presentation through its messages and its actions.
By-  ARYAN PREM RANA, AARYANA MATASCO

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