Bad reputation a real risk

Aon Risk Management’s 2013 Global Risk Management Survey has identified the top 10 risks facing today’s organisations, with damage to reputation or brand coming in at number four.

Risk management revolves around anticipating potential issues or crises for an organisation and creating processes to respond to them, in order to reduce the damage an issue can cause. In communications, it involves ensuring communication processes, company messages and key spokespeople are all prepared for action, should such a situation unfold.

Clear preparation can be the difference between a reputational disaster and a swift and smooth recovery – that can even create an opportunity to improve your company name.

Volkswagen’s delay in responding to safety concerns in the past few weeks lead to a great deal of media criticism, confusion and negative consumer sentiment. On the contrary, some companies harness the attention that comes with public crises to highlight their smooth handling of the issue and consolidate customer trust in the brand. For example, athletic wear giant Lululemon’s handling of a recall for their yoga pants has been hailed as ‘textbook crisis PR’ by PR Daily.

The full list of Top 10 Risks Facing Organisations Today is as follows:

1. Economic slowdown / slow recovery

2. Regulatory / legislative changes

3. Increasing competition

4. Damage to reputation / brand

5. Failure to attract or retain top talent

6. Failure to innovate / meet customer needs

7. Business interruption

8. Commodity price risk

9. Cash flow / liquidity risk

10. Political risk / uncertainties


Sources: PR Daily, Aon