Monday, 10 April 2017

How To Manage Your Reputation


     
                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Dr Jossy Nkwocha's book: Reputation management and Branding is an interesting addition to your repertoire, your library and toolkit. First published in September 2016, this bulky paperback is the toast of Zoom Lens Publishers, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Jossy Nkwocha, a distinguished journalist and public relations consultant is also the author of Effective Public Relations now in its third edition. Reputation management and Branding has 298 pages; two parts, thirteen chapters  and an index of five pages. The book addresses the reputation challenges of businesses, government and non governmental organizations. The book is applicable to company chief executives,students, government image makers, marketers and public relations practitioners.
      In his Foreword to the book, the director of the Lagos Business School, Professor Pat Utomi avers that modern corporations are conceived to live forever; but their average lifespan is shorter than that of man. Goodwill also known as reputation is a critical asset in achieving success in business. But from the last decade of the 20th century, corporations and governments have come to realize the great value of good reputation. Which is why they have deployed immense human and material resources to manage their reputation through branding.
    Thus, Reputation Management is replete with the critical elements of the subject, including corporate governance, strategic communication, corporate social responsibility, events management and crisis management. Nkwocha has extended the frontiers of identity management and customer relations with the unique selling point of case studies which are rare in most of nigeria's published works. Those case studies help explain the practical application of the concepts enunciated in this volume.
    These principles are from Nkwocha's doctoral dissertation at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2014 and his public relations columns the BusinessDay newspaper between 2004 and 2007. In her Preface to this first edition, the head of the department of Marketing at the university of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Professor Justie Nnabuko, says that reputation management and branding are important courses in marketing, public relations and Advertising.
    Every organization and business needs reputation management and branding. Happily, how this can be applied is clearly explained in this book. Even individuals, company executives, country presidents and state governors will record amazing successes in their reputations through shrewd management and branding. Since perception is everything, so is reputation. In public relations and marketing,reputation is taken very seriously. Perception may not be real, but in the minds of the people, it is more powerful than reality.
    That reputation is everything shows that a company's reputation is its most valuable asset. As a highly prized possession, reputation is a most potent driving force for the progress and profitability of businesses and governments. Reputation is more solid than image. It takes time to build and nurture reputation. Reputation endures more than image. But reputation built over decades could be ruined in an instant through a mistake. This is why corporate  organizations and governments devote great resources to managing their reputation.
    Reputation management and Branding: With Nigerian Case Studies is the PhD thesis of the author. He distilled it into this 13 chapter book. The diversity of the study and its findings in corporate reputation management make the volume an invaluable addition to your toolkit. Reputation and branding involves everyone in an organization. A company's products, services, policies and programmes play key roles in its reputation.
      Part one deals with definitions, explores the multi disciplinary nature of corporate reputation. Chapter three examines the differences between reputation and image with the various arguments put up by scholars as to why reputation is superior to image. The author enumerates the key drivers and benefits of corporate reputation. He makes it crystal clear that good reputation enhances business growth, profitability and survival  in the competitive global market.
    In chapter five, Nkwocha discusses the main strategies in reputation management, namely, corporate identity programming, communication of its activities and policies, corporate social responsibility, the corporate website, crisis and events management. The book gives insight into the branches of reputation management which include corporate affairs; employee relations,communications, community relations, publicity and public affairs. Part two begins with chapter eight from where an expose of how to build brands begins. The chapter has three case studies with which to illuminate the subject.The next chapter deals with how to build house journals, a significant corporate reputation management strategy.
    Ethics is important in any profession; how this affects reputation management is adequately covered in chapter eleven. In summary, this book provides you as Corporate Affairs manager or commissioner of Information with the essentials of reputation management and branding. The book reflects Nkwocha's backgrounds as an academic, researcher, practising  journalist and columnist. Before his fruitful foray into public relations, Jossy had worked for 19 years as a journalist. He won many laurels as the general editor of Newswatch magazine, Africa's greatest investigative weekly magazine in the closing days of the 20th century. As adviser to the Bureau of Public Enterprises he participated actively in President Olusegun Obasanjo's privatization programme. In 2007, Dr Nkwocha was appointed Head of Corporate Communications at Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals in Port harcourt and in 2010 he was elevated to his present position of Special Adviser to the Managing Director. As a columnist, he enhanced the knowledge base of public relations practice through his books and newspaper columns. He is also a knight of St Christopher in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. He is married with many children one of them brought me this book from Port Harcourt.

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