Reputation matters

The new decade has started with a bang and many major reminders of the power of communications and optics in the way brands, institutions and individuals are viewed.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

PRWeek doesn’t have a tagline — yet — but if it did it would read something like "Because reputation is everything."

That mantra has been borne out in so many ways over the past few days — yet it’s becoming more and more difficult to cut through the noise and determine the truth.

Consider the following examples:

  • China is in lockdown as the global coronavirus pandemic panic takes hold around the world.
  • Iowa has its own modernized version of Florida’s hanging chads crisis as officials still struggle with counting the votes in the opening caucuses of what is set to be a tumultuous election year.
  • Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi face derision from each other’s supporters following a feisty State of the Union address during which their respective snubs included ignoring a handshake and ostentatiously tearing up a copy of the president’s speech.
  • Shakira and J.Lo put the shine back on the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl, erasing whatever memories remained of last year’s forgettable performance by Maroon 5. An exciting game on the field and a bunch of ads unencumbered by too much mawkish sentimentality added to the enjoyment of this year’s renewal.
  • The so-called "failing New York Times" posted a record year for its digital subscription business, the key to a sustainable future. So maybe it’s actually quite successful.

All these big stories revolve around perception, optics, reputation, authenticity, truth and branding — the staple ingredients of smart communications and PR people.

This profession has never been more in demand and never better demonstrated the value of high-level counsel.

Long may it continue! Because reputation is everything.

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