Tuesday, October 16, 2007

QUIXTAR: Reputation & Me & You

Original Source

Reputation & Me & You
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I was asked to write an article on reputation recently and, while doing so, it really impressed upon me again how important a topic this is not just for companies and brands but for individuals. Certainly a company's reputation is important if it hopes to spur some sort of participation on the part of the public, whether that be as a customer or a representative.
Personal reputation effects so many things that are even more important, in my opinion. For instance, a teen earns a reputation with his or her parents for being trustworthy or not. Caught in a lie about going to a party, the teen will have lost the trust of the parents who will now question every statement made about who, what, when and where. A husband who has been dishonest with his wife and is discovered loses credibility with her, causing her to question his fidelity and his love for her.
I'm a member of the Public Relations Society of America, and it is in the PRSA code of ethics that a member cannot spread lies as part of their communications programs on behalf of a client. I can honestly say that I have not spread lies. In fact, even when it hurts I think it's better to share the truth and maintain credibility and trust rather than be discovered in a lie. By the way, the lie is always discovered. I also become irate when asked to "spin" something. That's a political trick and one that's meant to confuse and obfuscate.
There are times I'm not able to talk about something. There are times I choose not to talk about something. But if I share information with you, it's because I believe it to be true.
I can speak from experience that, as a kid, I did things that probably eroded at the trust my parents had in me. The same is true for my relationships with my wife. After 20 years together (we started dating 20 years ago this month), I think I've come a long way. But I've had plenty of stupid moments. One thing I now know: Truth always is better.
In our business, sometimes sharing a truth may mean you lose a prospect. Sometimes a prospect will believe somebody else's spin and think that our business is not for them (and sometimes they're right--our business is available to anyone, but isn't necessarily right for everyone). I think it's better to share the full truth about our business with a prospect and keep their trust, rather than simply telling them what they want to hear. It's about managing expectations. In the end, they will experience our business for themselves and they will be matching up that experience with what they were told. It is at that point that personal reputations are born.

2 comments:

Manley said...

Tom,
I really enjoyed your Comments. Truth answers all questions. Truth doesn't always feel good, but truth always wins in the End!!
Truth earns the reputation!

IBOFightback - Fighting the Amway Myths said...

The post isn't by Tom. It's by Robin Luymes, Manager - PR & Editorial
at Quixtar Inc.