In the age of new media, reputations have risen and fallen practically overnight in the blink of a social media eye. No one will forget the social media outrage over the Motrin ad aimed at moms practicing “baby wearing.” Launching an online ad on a Saturday and seeing the onslaught of comments in just the course of 24 hours almost irreparably harmed the major multinational corporation.
According to the 2011 year-end survey of members conducted by the Council of Public Relations Firms, one-third anticipate growth in business-to-business, corporate communications and issues/reputation management.
What does this mean for job seekers? It means a major portion of your skill sets will include monitoring and improving your company’s brand and reputation.
Universities are placing greater emphasis in their curriculums of reputation management.
NYU has introduced a new concentration (elective) course to the curriculum for the Master of Science Degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communication, after a thorough review by NYU-SCPS and the New York State Department of Education. The reputation management course was introduced in the Spring 2012 term. The reputation management course, developed by Academic Chair John Doorley in cooperation with reputation scholars and public relations practitioners worldwide, is the first such graduate course anywhere. Professors Doorley and Helio Fred Garcia authored the field’s leading text, “Reputation Management”, by the renowned academic publisher, Routledge, in 2007. The third edition will be released in 2013.
In their book, Doorley and Garcia argue that most CEOs don’t actually pay much heed to reputation and this is to their peril. “Reputation Management” is a how-to-guide for professionals and students in public relations and corporate communication, as well as for CEOs and other leaders. It rests on the premise that reputation can be measured, monitored and managed. Organized by corporate communication units (media relations, employee communication, government relations, and investor relations, for example), the book provides a field-tested guide to corporate reputation problems such as leaked memos, unfair treatment by the press, and negative rumors—and it is this rare book that focuses on practical solutions.