2013 PR Agency Elite Awards: Reputation Management


MWW set the stage for ConnectOne Bank's (formerly known as North Jersey Community Bank) larger aspirations for strong, stable growth, and shaped public perception of the bank as a major player in the broader banking community.

Winner: MWW

MWW takes its clients’ reputations pretty seriously. Nothing Earth-shattering there; all PR agencies say that. But MWW goes well beyond bromides about clients’ reputations, thanks to the agency’s Total Stakeholder Approach. It’s a proprietary strategy for identifying key stakeholders messaging: branding, employee communications, the company “storyboard.” They all play major roles in how the agency helps to enhance its clients’ reputations.

But MWW wants to serve the reputation management industry as a whole. The agency’s blog, Return on Reputation, for instance, gives MWW executives a vehicle to communicate with both industry professionals and the public, and to offer their opinions and insights on a given subject. To spread the word, blog items are regularly posted to online media sources such as Social Media Week’s blog. Another effort to engage stakeholders and protect clients’ reputations is MWW’s “Network PR,” a strategic planning process that identifies, analyzes and engages myriad voices that move a company’s reputation needle.

Unlike traditional PR, the approach operates in an environment that is more self-segmented and measurable than was the case just a few years ago. That means it’s more important to MWW to be heard rather than to be loud. Indeed, MWW doesn’t “spray and pray,” as it were, but maps out a network of influencers and voices who determine a company’s corporate reputation and builds a program around that map. It’s a model that other agencies could stand to adapt: Don’t build it and they will come, but first tap into the desires and demands of an audience and develop the communication strategy from there.

Honorable Mentions:

  • iMiller Public Relations
  • The Marcus Group

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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