tRaditionaL media outRanKs neW mediaas Reputation ReFeRee
Global executives say that traditional media (television,radio and newspapers) plays a greater role in deciding rep-utational ates than new media (Web sites, blogs and socialnetworks). The study also ound that global executives arefve times more likely to trust traditional media appearingonline as they are to trust strictly online media (72% vs. 13%,respectively). In act, the debate over separate oine and onlinecommunications will eventually disappear as companiesrealize the benefts o integrating all their media. WeberShandwick calls this “inline” communications.
FiRst stop: Company WeB sites
According to 99% o executives surveyed, the leadingonline source or company inormation is the corporateWeb site. Although it may not singlehandedly have the su-preme power to build a positive reputation, the company Website is digital ground zero or reputation-building among theexecutive class.
oLd and neW Reputation spoiLeRs
By ar, the greatest perceived cause o reputation dam-age among global executives is negative media coverage(84%). In today’s distressed economic environment, ew com-panies are escaping media attention about their perormance.
Source: Factiva mentions in global major news and business media (terms: “media” and leak”)
“media LeaKs” in gLoBaL media
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
M E N T I O N S
+ 1 1 8
LeaKs gush dangeRousLy onLine
Global executives regard confdential or leaked inor-mation appearing online as a top risk to their com-pany’s reputation (41%). Their concern is understandableconsidering that in the global media, the words “media” and“leak” appeared together in 6,449 stories in 2008, a 118%increase rom 1998. Clearly, just the tip o the iceberg orinormation leaks.
Reputation assassins aRe haRd at WoRK
Today, the Internet provides innumerable platormsor current and ormer employees to strike, usuallyanonymously, at a company’s reputation. Employee criticism(41%) tied or frst place with leaked confdential inormationonline as the greatest online reputation risk to the company’sreputation. As employees wrestle with declining pensionsand possible layos, reputation bandits will be even harderat work online.Despite high anxiety over potential employee sabotage, onlyabout one-third o executives (34%) know, or admit to knowing(“don’t ask don’t tell”), o a ellow employee who badmouthedtheir company online. Leaders may naively expect that theiremployees are abiding by company principles about theironline activities.