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. “How could our reputation be so bad?”

It’s a question communications executives across all industries are asking with growing frequency and urgency as the number of risks to their corporate reputations proliferates.

CRISIS INSIDER

Access to all Crisis Insider articles, quarterly reports and valuable blueprints for crisis management.

$29

Per Month Lowest Price

PLATINUM

Best Value!

Unlimited access to all Premium and Crisis Insider articles and monthly reports.

First Year Offer

$68

Per Month

PREMIUM

Unlimited access to all Premium digital intelligence, 10-year web archive and monthly reports.

Save $140 With Annual Subscription

$78

Per Month