The ability to quickly measure the impact of negative media coverage and online consumer conversations will go far protecting your organization’s reputation – and its survival. As Andrea Grover, director of stakeholder outreach for natural gas infrastructure company Spectra Energy, says in the following Q&A, if you don’t tell your story someone else will - making transparency and authenticity vital to managing your brand’s reputation. Grover will elaborate on measuring reputation, crisis communications and more at PR News’ PR Measurement Conference on April 18 in Washington, D.C. â€¨
PR News: How do you measure Spectra Energy’s corporate reputation?â€¨ â€¨
Andrea Grover: We use both formal and informal methods of gaining feedback about our company. Formally, we take part in industry surveys, polling the affected public, as well as additional audiences such as emergency responders, excavators, and public officials. We are able to evaluate the data in a variety of ways, but find it most useful to compare year-to-year trends as well as our company to the industry in general. Informally, we meet with external stakeholders on a regular basis. Whether a dinner or public meeting or a focus group about a particular topic, we are always looking at how we can improve. The best measurement is when an outside stakeholder relays a good message about Spectra Energy without us asking.â€¨ â€¨
PR News: What have you found from that data that can help Spectra Energy improve its reputation?â€¨ â€¨
Grover: We have learned to consider a wide range of stakeholders and our impact on them. Customers, employees, emergency responders, government officials and landowners all need transparency. We have also learned that we, as a company need to be able to talk intelligently about our own industry. If we don’t tell our story, someone else will – and not necessarily the way we would.â€¨â€¨
PR News: What about more traditional measurement methods—can they be applied to reputation?â€¨ â€¨
Grover: Historically, Spectra Energy has rated very highly in polls with regards to public awareness, safety, transparency and emergency response. Spectra Energy strives to be an “Of Choice” company and has been rewarded for that.â€¨â€¨
PR News: How is Spectra Energy doing with measuring social media efforts?â€¨ â€¨
Grover: Our industry is very much a policy driven one. With safety and environmental concerns at the forefront today, we might approach social media a bit differently than others. We follow “hits” to our project web pages and determine what event or issue may have triggered the highs and lows. We have Twitter and Facebook accounts that are driven by community engagement and policy issues. Over the past year, Spectra Energy has created several YouTube videos that are industry promotions, and they have been very well received.â€¨â€¨
PR News: What’s the one key tip you’ll offer attendees at the Measurement Conference?â€¨ â€¨
Grover: Be transparent, truthful and tell your own story.
Attend PR News’ PR Measurement Conference on April 18 in Washington DC and learn more from measurement experts like Andrea Grover.
Follow Regina D’Alesio, @reginadalesio