Column: Who Manages the Reputation of your company or brand?

Communication is evolving for organizations and their brands. For companies, due to the diversification of their audiences and increasing usage of digital channels, as well as the evolution of traditional places in the press, the main challenge is to be able to create and deliver relevant messages and persuasive content to impact not only their customers, but also the whole market, and that’s a key issue in controlling their reputation.

In this regard, Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Modelo, and Walmart are currently the companies with the best corporate image in the country, according to the 2021 Merco Empresas y Líderes ranking, carried out by the Monitor Empresarial de Reputación Corporativa (Merco). These corporate groups demonstrate why consistently constructing their communication is a fundamental matter for being positively perceived by the audiences.

Therefore, investing in communication should be thought of as essential for corporate budget planning. However, as rare as it seems, many companies still believe that creating and maintaining a good image is an unnecessary expense and does not have to be considered a corporate or even marketing priority.

One main reason for this could be the fact that communication does not have a clear ROI that can be quantified from a commercial perspective. After all, one of its main purposes is to take care of what is being said or not about an organization and its brands by public opinion. In addition, there is something that shouldn’t be overlooked: the higher usage of social networks makes companies quite vulnerable nowadays. The thing is that, in the modern marketing scenario where consumers communicate directly with brands, companies trying to build their image and defend their reputation against negative comments or messages require qualified personnel.

Does the company you work for take all these considerations into account?

This is where the role of communication agencies appears highly relevant when it comes to managing the reputation of a company and its brands. At such agencies, expert executives take care of planning, spreading, and controlling messages aimed at media and press, with a wide reach and for segmented audiences. But that's not all, their work goes further.

Moreover, some agencies have specialized journalists in charge of preparing content for being released on the press; some others have full digital communication teams, including Community Managers, dedicated to social network and media activities; also, many of them have creativity experts to plan and design full communication campaigns.

In México there are several of these agencies available on the market nowadays. However, due to their different sizes, specialization, and scope (often international), it may be difficult to choose the right one to manage the communication of a company and its brands, also considering the issue of the budget available for these purposes.

So how do you know which one is best for you? To answer this question, it is necessary to consider these aspects about an agency:

Its experience: It is extremely relevant to know how long an agency has been on the market. Those with several years of experience in managing companies’ communication will more likely know what an effective strategy is, and how and where to rise it.· Its clients: The accounts an agency has attended show its profile and reaching capacity.

· Its work team: It is not enough to know what an agency has done, but also how its team of professionals is made up.

· Its customer service and response: It should be considered how an agency design a plan for monitoring and personalizing actions facing the audiences and who will be in charge.

· Its capacity for adapting to the budget: Beware of white elephants! Tailor-made services are trending, as they offer the client only what it needs, so it doesn’t have to pay for non-required services.

· Its plan for responding to communication crises: How will these crises be managed if they eventually come up? The greatest agencies in the market have specialized staff to deal with these situations.

Thus, building and maintaining the corporate image should be considered a budget priority for
organizations, regardless of their size, business, or record in the market. Properly selecting a
communication agency may guarantee the optimum and highly professional meeting of this aim.

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