Here is an article from Kellogg Insight entitled “A Board’s Eye View of Reputation Management.” Author Roxanne Decyk, Ford Scholar at the Ford Center for Global Citizenship at the Kellogg School, notes that “It is not enough anymore for a director to learn about the company, read the board materials, go to board meetings, and make site visits.” Instead, boards “must take and active role in reputation management.”
She offers the following tips for board members:
- Educate yourself
- Choose a governance structure that fits the company
- Create a robust intelligence system
- Hire the right CEO
- Have a plan for when things go wrong
Obviously, Ms. Decyk understands that reputation is primarily a function of how an organization is operated rather than its communications. Nevertheless, those of us in communications can obviously play a role, particularly in:
- Educating board members and senior executives regarding potential crises we see brewing or which our boards may be bringing on themselves (e.g. granting senior management and board pay raises while laying off employees).
- Creating a robust intelligence system, which I would argue should be a part of the communications function, and if not, the two should work together closely
- Having a plan for when things go wrong
Kellogg Insight is the official online magazine of the Kellogg School of Management, and, in the spirit of transparency, I am a Kellogg MBA.