Reputation management has grown increasingly complex.

Traditional reputation management required rapt attention to how a company was perceived: narrowing the gap between perception and reality, identifying competitive advantage, and communicating to select audiences. New reputation management does no less, but also requires relentless attention to online advocates and badvocates. Today, companies must attend to a diverse and all-powerful portfolio of stakeholders that now include online media, environmental groups, bloggers, Twitterers and citizen journalists that constantly command attention. Armed with little more than a computer and an opinion, some of these chat-room transmitters and bloggers can undo a company’s reputation by disseminating misinformation and innuendo instantly.

The Internet revolution is clearly a double-edged sword. It presents opportunities for, as well as barriers to, building reputation, recovering lost reputation or boosting a languishing reputation. On the one hand, the Internet allows an unfavorable problem or issue to remain before the public interminably. If harnessed properly, technology has the potential to effectively air company points of view and quickly counter negative perceptions. The Internet affords a company the opportunity to address a problem before it explodes and prepare stakeholders before any damage is done.

Global public relations firm Weber Shandwick recognizes that companies need to better understand how to successfully manage their reputations in an always-on and always-open marketplace. Leaders are increasingly asking questions about how they can build, enhance and defend corporate reputation when it is continually under siege, and redefined, by online and offline communities. provides you with our findings from Risky Business: Reputations Online™ conducted in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It also gives you survey information, resources, news, a discussion forum and details on how to contact us.

“The most dangerous risk to a company’s reputation is to be deserving of a bad one.” – Risky Business: Reputations Online Survey Participant (Executive from Turkey)
“Online, your rep is quantifiable, findable and totally unavoidable.”
– Technology and culture writer Clive Thompson