Reputation Matters

In the wake of Paragon PR achieving its first agency awards – winning a 2015 Communicator Award and being named as a finalist in the Stevie Awards – I thought it would be appropriate to focus this week’s blog on the motto around which Paragon has built its brand – “Reputation Matters.” Everything, from companies to people to destinations, has a reputation, and it sets the tone for how people perceive you, often before any interaction takes place.

There are dozens of professional athletes and organizations who can teach us a thing or two about reputation-mending. Take the current “Deflategate” incident surrounding the current Super Bowl champion Patriots. Here’s an organization that has won four Super Bowls in less than fifteen years and the franchise will forever have a tarnished reputation simply because some air was removed from a few footballs.

Prior to meeting for the first time, someone may have already formed their own opinion about you. “Your reputation precedes you.” Whether you like it or not, partners, clients, and even employers may know a great deal about you before your first meeting. Reputations are universal, unavoidable and have a profound impact on future endeavors. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

Bill Clinton, who arguably had one of the most economically and politically successful presidential tenures in US history, had his reputation permanently tarnished by the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clinton’s presidency would have undoubtedly been regarded as one of the greatest ever, but many instead associate it with the infidelity that incited an impeachment trial.

Reputations aren’t always fair. They’re circumstantial and the ripple effect is a reputation’s evil cousin. A single trivial incident could ultimately lead to a cataclysmic fall for someone or something that was once considered untouchable. But how one bounces back from that fall could impact a reputation far more than the issue that caused it in the first place.

British Petroleum (BP) suffered a monumental blow in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a total discharge of 210 million gallons of oil. The spill is regarded as the worst environmental disaster the US has ever faced and cost BP billions of dollars and a scarlet letter on its reputation. However, despite the enormous environmental and health issues that were caused, BP has since implemented an array of company-wide programs and regional rehabilitation efforts that have helped to revitalize the Gulf region and repair its reputation.

Like many of the important intangibles in business and in life, good reputations are built through hard work and a steadfast approach towards achieving long-term goals. Here at Paragon, we are seeing some of the fruits of that hard work. We’re enhancing our brand, and with it our reputation because, as our motto would indicate, we understand that’s what matters.

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