Reputation Management as Relationship Management

University of Sydney
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Making a Difference: Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference, 2004, pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This paper investigates the concept of corporate reputation and corporate image. Corporate image is the product of the experiences of a product or service and the messages sent by an organisation, while corporate reputation is the product of management behaviours and organisation-public relationships. This paper explores whether corporate reputation can be managed and who manages it. It is especially interested in identifying how much control corporate communication practitioners have over corporate reputation. The research reported in this paper used a multiple case study methodology. The selection of participants was based on the Sydney Morning Herald Good Reputation Index 2002, as the index reflects, at least theoretically, thebest companies in Australia according to their reputation. The data collection involved interviewing five organisations from the Top 100 and undertaking corporate and media documentary research on the five organisations involved, as part of an ongoing investigation. The selection depended on the availability of the communication practitioner. As a qualitative research, the interviews were conducted as open questions. The questions aimed to discover how the participants define reputation, how they manage it and what function of the organisation manages the organisation's reputation. In addition, the interviews tried to identify if each organisation followed any formal way of measuring their reputation and if reputation was a strategic concern. The findings of this study could help communication practitioners contribute and clarify their traditional roles of relationship builders and reputation managers, stressing the importance of working at a strategic level.
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