Wise business leaders understand that reputation is a financial asset, and should be considered every bit as tangible on the company balance sheet as inventory. The trusted advisers at McEwen McMahon understand the cause-and-effect relationship between public perception of an enterprise and its market capitalization.
It is why we counsel our clients to speak with "One Voice," a necessary principle for large organizations that issue hundreds of messages every day to myriad constituencies. Each message should be nuanced for the intended recipient but the company must speak with a single corporate voice to ensure messages aimed at one audience don't have unintended consequences for another.
A classic example involves the dynamic tension between investor and employee audiences. When management announces a large workforce reduction, Wall Street generally applauds the belt-tightening while the plant communities that are losing jobs lament the action, and employees who survive the cut often are demoralized because usually they are expected to do more work with fewer resources.
It requires skillfully crafted communications to address conflicting interests of various corporate constituencies, especially in the face of activism by organized labor, "watch-dog" groups, and an often-hostile media. The "heat" can get especially intense when social media gadflies latch onto an issue. As Churchill once said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on."
At McEwen McMahon Public Relation company, we understand the end game and help our clients stay several moves ahead by seeing around corners, anticipating outcomes, preparing for consequences and rehearsing the right responses.
We know, for example, that it's far more economical to deal with an issue in its emergent phase than it is to ignore a problem until some triggering event thrusts the issue before the klieg lights of the media. That's when a company finds itself in the docket of the court of public opinion, where the jury most often presumes guilt, not innocence, and the trial is almost always a costly one.
You can't always predict a crisis, but McEwen McMahon can help you prepare for one and perhaps even prevent crisis. Companies can manage an issue and pay a little, or let it escalate into a crisis, and pay a lot.