Corporations are becoming increasingly aware of how serious and volatile today’s reputational challenges are. Since the financial crisis of 2007/8, banks and other financial services, once the epitome of cautious respectability, are now assumed to be irredeemably greedy and reckless. And that image is tainting the view of big businesses generally, facilitated by the fast pace of communications and the relatively uncontrolled world of social media.
The traditional PR responses to reputational issues – managing media relations and spinning messages – are now often too little, too late. In this multi-faceted and interconnected environment, companies need to up their game and develop a more sophisticated and integrated approach to engaging with their reputations.
The Corporate Affairs Academy has been developed to help you as a Corporate Affairs Director keep reputation at the top of your company’s agenda. It provides an opportunity to connect with the latest academic research in the field and share experiences, ideas, and best practice – ultimately enabling you to make a more strategic and valuable contribution to the business.
Although most companies now realise the importance of reputation and have assigned responsibility for it to someone in a senior role, it is still not at the centre of strategic discussions. Even in companies that understand the need for a corporate affairs strategy, reputation tends to get lumped in with media relations or 'brand', and is seen principally in terms of the customer or client experience. Even worse, it only gets discussed seriously at board level when something has already gone wrong.
We developed the Corporate Affairs Academy to give corporate affairs directors in major corporations a deeper understanding of the nature of reputation, and to enable them to consider the reputational issues involved while dealing with all stakeholders. The programme is designed to arm them with the tools and knowledge to engage with the board and ensure that reputation is dealt with as a strategic issue at the highest level.