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Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by William T. Paarlberg, Katie Delahaye Paine

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Chapter 11. Threats to Your Reputation: How to Measure Crises

"Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know. One often obtains a clue to a person's nature by discovering the reasons for his or her imperviousness to certain impressions."

Eric Hoffer

Your reputation is the sum total of your relationships with all your publics. It is what people think of when they hear your brand mentioned; it determines the likelihood that they purchase or recommend your products, invest in your company, or apply for a job. It also influences the likelihood that your opponents will sue you, protest at your doorstep, or write letters to government officials complaining about you. Trust between your organization and your publics is the foundation of your reputation. To paraphrase Arthur Page, in a democratic society, any organization continues to exist only because society gives it permission to. And the giving or withholding of that permission is based largely on your reputation.

Assuming you've been around for a while, your reputation already exists in the minds of your stakeholders. It is not something that will change overnight, because relationships don't change overnight. Trust, commitment, and satisfaction take a long time to build up, but they can all be destroyed in seconds.

Crises occur when events threaten your reputation. The key to measuring threats to your reputation is measuring the trust between you and your publics, and the effectiveness with which your ...

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