Top Guns: Reputation Management Strategies From CorpComm Elite

On May 14, 2009, pharmaceutical manufacturing giant Pfizer announced a program that would provide newly unemployed individuals and their families with free medications for up to one year. It’s a public relations coup by any standard: The announcement prompted praise from consumers and media alike, and it enhanced Pfizer’s reputation as a company that cares enough about its customers’ well-being to put the bottom line aside. But Raymond Kerins, vice president of worldwide communications for Pfizer, is hesitant to celebrate, as he is well aware of how little this effort will impact his company’s reputation in the grand scheme of things. He also acknowledges the clear disconnect between doing good work and having a good reputation; the two have proven to be, at times, mutually exclusive. “We make life-saving medicines,” he says.

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