In addressing the recent branding mishaps and current struggles of BP and British Airways, Mark Choueke and Mark Ritson (MW 27 April) expertly expressed what my colleagues in PR refer to as reputation management. What was once almost exclusively confined to the protection of a CEO’s reputation has now evolved into a necessary brand management strategy.
Branding is not merely the communications of a company’s values and ethos, it is a strategic management function requiring skilled knowledge of how a company and its employees can best express what it is, what it stands for and what value others derive from its products and services.
The marketing community must be ready to not only defend our brand’s reputation, but ensure its long-term sustainability and survival. That requires us to be finely attuned to the wants and needs of our customers, while carefully weighing the pros and cons of potential partnerships that might expose our brand to something wholly different to its core values.
Rosanna M Fiske
Chair and CEO, Public Relations
Society of America, New York