“Put quite simply, image is the picture that other people have of you. It is also the picture you hold of yourself. If your organisation projects a true and attractive reflection of itself, you have a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace. A neglected, poorly communicated or outdated image can leave an indelible and damaging impression… Once an identity is created, it must then be continuously managed. Marketing, advertising and public relations are the tools for image creation and maintenance.”
Linda Vining, School Image by Design, Spirit of Adventure, Randwick, 1994, p. 4.
Building a good reputation:
- There is no quick and easy way to have a good reputation.
- A good reputation is everyone’s job, not just management’s.
- You cannot have a good external reputation unless you have a good internal reputation.
- Important decisions by stakeholders are based invariably on trust.
- It may take years to build a reputation but only a moment to destroy one.
Davis Young in Building Your Company’s Good Name.
It’s a fact
One day while on his way back to the office from an important lunch in the best restaurant in town, Ray Kroc, owner of the McDonald’s chain in the United States, asked his driver to pass through a few McDonald’s car parks. In one he spotted papers caught up in shrubs along the outer fence.
He immediately called his office to get the name of the manager, then called the manager to offer to help him pick up the offending rubbish.
Both the owner of the McDonald’s chain in his expensive business suit and the young manager met in the car park and got down on their hands and knees to pick up the paper.
- As managers we are frequently more interested in the activity inside our business premises than in the building’s outside appearance. The appearance of your building and its surrounds is at the front line of your organisation’s public image – as Ray Kroc was well aware.
Who are you?
- I don’t know who you are.
- I don’t know your company.
- I don’t know your company’s product.
- I don’t know what your company stands for.
- I don’t know your company’s customers.
- I don’t know your company’s record.
- I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?
This text from a McGraw-Hill advertisement makes an eloquent case for the need for corporate identity.
What’s in a name?
The British primary school of South Park was renamed in 1999 in a bid to shed the image of the controversial American television cartoon series. The school, in the genteel southern English town of Reigate, has become known as The Orchards.
‘We were aware there was a cartoon called South Park and that it was not a particularly nice cartoon,’ said school Governor Alan Mayer justifying the name change.
It’s all about image.
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