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Fame & Fortune: How Successful Companies Build Winning Reputations by Cees B.M. van Riel, Charles J. Fombrun

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Chapter 6. Be Visible

An old French saying about leading the good life goes as follows: Pour vivre bien, il faut vivre caché—to live well, live in hiding. Many companies act as if they believe it: They shun publicity, refuse media interviews, close ranks against what they perceive to be an inimical world, communicating minimally (particularly with the media) and only under duress. We call this the introvert posture, historically favored by companies guided by cautious investment bankers, and conservative politicians and lawyers.

That’s actually bad advice. In today’s globalized, mediatized, information-rich world, hiding is no longer an option. Stakeholders demand access, insist on knowing what you don’t want to tell, and reporters are hell-bent ...

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