As the CEO of Kith and the author of Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management, Bill Coletti has spent his career learning about the best ways to manage a business’s reputation. In this episode, he shares his one big tip for taking action to manage your own reputation during critical moments.
Reputation management is most important during critical moments that come after a crisis. If the crisis is something a business must immediately respond to, like a pandemic causing a shutdown, then the critical moment is how you come back from that. It’s the series of events following a crisis that will impact your reputation. How do you bounce back after a shutdown, or maybe a company-wide scandal?
Bill says that businesses should operate the same way a sports team does when it comes to reputation management. To work together and win a game, a team has to have a big picture plan, and then they have to practice, study, and learn by watching tapes consistently. Great businesses work the same way; they look at situations and think, “if this would happen to us, how would we respond?”
Bill outlines his process for reputation management with a pyramid of four “A”s. He says this pyramid applies to any person, small business, or enterprise business.
The awareness stage is about understanding who you are as a business: what do you stand for? What does your business mean? Why do you work?
At this stage, you should be asking the people that matter questions to gain a better understanding of what they expect from you. These important people include employees, customers, and stakeholders.
This means getting permission from your leadership to embark on this journey of growing your reputation. Bill notes that there is one small line separating action and authority, which he calls the well-intentioned consultant membrane.
You should check in here before taking action. The most important thing to remember is that you should not just jump to action in these critical moments, as much as you may want to! Bill stresses that it’s vital to understand who you are and what people expect from you and make sure your leadership will allow you to take the next step.
Jumping to action and skipping the middle part would be like making the decision to run a marathon the Friday night before it happens and showing up the next day without any preparation, Bill explains. Evaluating your role as a business and understanding how to stay in line with what people expect of you is important because, otherwise, you may come off as disingenuous– and people will see right through your lip service.
Bill would love to have a conversation about reputation management with anyone who reaches out. To learn more about what he does over at Kith, you can visit their website kith.co or send an email at [email protected]. You can also collect with Bill on LinkedIn.