This may seem self-evident but corporate reputation is a function of the perception of others. Companies can, to a greater or lesser extent, control their character; that is, their values, employment policies, performance and product mix. But it is the perception, politics, beliefs and prejudices of others that in a crisis circumscribe the reputation battleground (although not its outcome). That's why transparency and authenticity have to become a greater part of a company's character. They are the most important values in shaping perception and challenging the prejudices of today's mistrustful publics.