Chief Execs More Concerned With Company Image

Dec 12, 2003

By George Anderson

Jeffrey Resnick, executive vice president and director of Opinion Research’s corporate reputation practice, told Timothy Henderson, editor-in-chief, STORES magazine, “We no longer live in a world where, as business leaders, we can ignore the financial benefit of continuously, aggressively and effectively managing our company’s reputation. Reputation must be managed as an important form of business risk, just as are the more traditional financial, IT, environmental, human resource and other forms of business risk typically evaluated in an internal audit.”

In a column written by Mr. Henderson, Managing Reputations, he sites two recent studies on the importance top executives are placing on preserving or improving their company’s reputation.

Top corporate executives told researchers for The Fifth Annual Corporate Reputation Watch survey, conducted by the public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton and executive recruiter Korn/Ferry, reputation is more important now than it was five years back.

The PRWeek/Burson Marsteller CEO Survey found 81 percent of chief executives at Fortune 1,000 companies are concerned about their company’s reputation.

Executives have said they’ve taken steps to maintain a strong reputation among all their company’s stakeholders but the message is being largely ignored.

Mr. Henderson wrote, “Only 26 percent of individual investors and 24 percent of U.S. adults say they believe that CEOs are as concerned as they should be about their company’s reputation.”

Moderator’s Comment: Which companies in retailing and related businesses have the type of corporate reputation that leads to business growth? Please

Here’s a vote for a retailer we came across this morning. It is from the editor of the Macon (GA) Area Online Web site, Steve Turner.

Mr. Turner writes, “Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs,
for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.”

“Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate
what they are doing for our military.”
Anderson – Moderator

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