| Reputation Management
Strategic legal advice takes account
of processes and issues. Issue Management enables an integrative,
international and inter-disciplinary approach to these dimensions
One example: reputation Management
An example of such a field, and a sub-area of issue management,
is Reputation Management. Since my return from Cambridge,
Mass. in the summer of 1999, I have worked with Prof. Walter
von Wartburg in this area, which centers on the good reputation
of companies as a core value and factor for success. The
issue is as follows:
With globalization, the convergence of communications technologies,
the spread of the media and increased legal exposure internationally,
the need for top management to deal professionally with
the perceptions of and expectations towards key people and
the company as a whole has increased. In today's environment,
unfulfilled expectations and perceptions very quickly turn
into negative realities.
These days, risk management for companies and organizations
is not confined to financial and material issues. Increasingly,
it is about preserving essential values such as the good
name of corporations, organizations, names and brands. When
corporations are assessed by financial analysts, it is not
just the figures that are important: corporate reputation
plays an ever more significant role.
Corporate assessors tend to talk about brand value, corporate
citizenship and the relationship with key interest groups,
all of which are combined into a "good-will factor"
which goes beyond the traditional assessment of a company.
Several analysts now support the idea of a recognized "reputation
value index which would allow a comparative and rational
determination of the degree to which a company's good name
is exposed. The reputation of the top management and the
company is increasingly becoming a vital link in the value
Corporate Reputation Management is concerned with the legal/communications-related
aspect of a modern, integral management style that is moving
towards sustainability and business excellence. Corporate
reputation management allows certain areas of difficulty
(as well as special opportunities, of course) to be identified
at an early stage (Issue Management) and solved in a positive
way through proactive communications strategies (Perception
Management); at the very least, the effects can be minimized
in a timely fashion (Exposure Management), or the areas
of damage actively dealt with (Crisis Management).
If the reputation factor is neglected, corporate controlling
bodies can be rendered incapable of action and the company
weakened financially for a long time to come. If the management
makes an incorrect assessment of the situation, there is
rapid loss of confidence, followed by the economic consequences
one would expect: investors go elsewhere, staff performance
and quality drop off, clients drift away, suppliers and
sales & marketing partners retreat and last but
not least, political agencies attempt to prevent any future
misconduct through additional regulation.
I have a good network of renowned experts in this field that either jointly or singly offer a series of services such as solutions in the area of strategic and operational measures designed to build, improve and secure the good reputation of corporations and product brands. Our clients are CEO's and administrative boards who want to put their company's or organization's traditional risk management on a broader footing in line with the times. Our services are designed to meet the needs generated by the increased exposure of top management, corporations and product brands as well as by the powerful influences exercised by published and public opinion. A company's valuation in the capital markets, its corporate image and the customers' preference for its products is being more and more strongly influenced by the reputation of the top management, the company and its "brand". Services designed to prevent and/or deal with critical situations and handle adverse public comment.
I have developed expertise particularly in the fields of law and reputation and more generally law and communication, integrating this expertise into a more broadly-based issue management and establishing it as an important component of strategic legal advice.