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The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), in conjunction with YouGov, recently undertook research with 114 of its members into "the importance and value of reputation for UK businesses" and reported its findings in an infographic called Reputation Matters'.

The infographic is a bit misleading though (which infographics can often be) on a couple of fronts . . .

Influence of Media Coverage

The headline is deceiving.

Where is this  "strong connection between corporate reputation and media coverage"? It's in the minds of the senior executives who judge the performance of their communication officers. Journalist criticism is a sensitive spot for senior managers, with only three per cent of respondents in strong agreement that their leaders care less about negative journalist feedback than they used to. They're troubled by the thought that a negative clip could pop up in a performance review. 

The infographic doesn't actually say anything about the depleted media's ability today to damage or advance reputation. 

Social Media's Relevance to Reputation

Again the headline is deceptive.

About 42 percent of respondents admit they were ‘weak’ compared to their competitors or client’s competitors with respect to social media. In the context of this research this could imply that a lively social media program is a meaningful factor in how an organization is regarded.

In fact, though, what's being said is that consulting and in-house communication professionals are worried their possibly inadequate social media programs may reflect badly on them.

So we are left with no better understanding of the actual role of the media and the social web in forging or spoiling an organization's reputation.   

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