Corporate Reputation Gauge: Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

If you walked up to a Starbucks counter with a free iced coffee coupon in hand last week, you were likely to be disappointed. The problem: The coupons' original dissemination to select employees was "redistributed beyond the original intent and modified beyond Starbucks' control" - this according to the "Rumor Response" page of the company's Web site. While being deprived of a free coffee is tragic for many, the crux of the issue for corporate communicators is the means of rumor control. The idea of opening such a forum for responding to and controlling hits to corporate reputation is a relatively novel one (coming into its own as similar mediums - blogs, for example - mature), but is it an effective modis operandi for combating unpalatable - and untrue - whisperings? "In the case of rumors, one has to be definitive and accessible.

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