Building a Better Public Face for Your Independent Company – 6 Core Strategies
Does your company’s public image need work?
Even a competently managed corporate image can stand to improve. If you’re concerned that you’re falling behind your competitors in this area, deploy these six core strategies to improve perceptions of your firm.
- Sponsor and Promote Signature Events Throughout the Year
If your company does not yet sponsor at least one signature annual event, now’s the time to begin thinking about doing so. Use this handy list of corporate event ideas to generate ideas, then narrow down your choices to options that make sense for your industry, audience, and resource load. If you can manage multiple events throughout the year, do so — the more often you put your company in front of prospective employees, customers, vendors, and investors, the more opportunities you’ll have to make a good first (or second) impression.
- Invest in Your Company’s Online Directory Presence
This behind-the-scenes strategy is no less important than your public-facing event campaigns. Identify the top online business directories for your industry and audience groups, keeping in mind that many popular directories — Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Crunchbase, for instance — are appropriate for most (if not all) businesses. Refer to competitor profiles for ideas about what to include in yours; this Crunchbase profile for an Asia-Pacific based financial services firm is a good template for comparable companies elsewhere.
- Manage Customer, Employee, and Gatekeeper Reviews
One advantage of a well-developed business directory network is the ability to attract and respond to reviews from various third parties. It’s absolutely critical that you take an active role in managing the reviews your company generates, even — and perhaps especially — when the feedback is not what you want to hear.
When you have the option to do so, respond publicly (and politely) to customer feedback. For private matters, contact customers directly and offer to make things right. Reviews by authoritative third parties warrant more detailed responses disseminated via your social media channels and company website.
- Offer an Industry-leading Benefits Package
Burnish your reputation as a great place to work by offering a comprehensive employee benefits package. Investing directly in your employees and their families complements your efforts to attract and retain talent while positioning your firm as an employer that actually cares about its human resources.
- Maintain an Open-door Policy (and Make No Secret of This Fact)
Call it a cliche, but an open-door policy could be just what your company needs to position itself as an employee-friendly business. According to this management expert, managers that follow open-door policies are more accessible, better communicators, and have closer working relationships with subordinates. Once word of your open-door policy gets out, you’re likely to see an uptick in interest from prospective employees as well.
How’s Your Company’s Image?
No matter how well you execute these six core strategies, you won’t burnish your corporate image overnight. The hard work of repairing your image and developing a sustainable, on-brand reputation takes time — on the order of months and years, not days and weeks.
Then again, there’s no time like the present to begin. The sooner you take concrete steps to improve your corporate image and put your best foot forward for customers, vendors, and the wider world, the sooner you’ll have tangible deliverables to tout to investors and prospective employees.