Trylon Communications  - May 2004

No Trust, No Deal (or story!)

According to Fordham University professor Kevin Jackson, “Reputation is the primary attribute of commercial relationships. If there is no trust, there is no deal, period.” The same can be said of media relationships – if there is no trust, there is no story…period.

Based on his study of companies like Hewlett-Packard, Northrop Grumman and Levi Strauss, Jackson’s recent book “Building Reputational Capital” (Oxford University Press) argues that a strong reputation draws repeat business, allows firms to charge higher prices, attracts better job applicants, enhances access to capital markets, attracts investors and functions as a barrier to entry into markets by prospective competitors.

That same reputation can certainly help get stories placed in the media. Such placements help maintain or raise your “reputational capital” as well, so the process becomes symbiotic.

The public has become cynical towards business, media, and government. The rewards of establishing and maintaining a good reputation in this climate are significantly greater than the efforts required to do so.

The next time you consider your PR strategy and message, take your company’s standing into account. How your message is crafted and where it’s directed may change depending on your current position and where you want it to go.