Continuity Contributors Crisis communication

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Time isn't just a healer, it confirms or destroys reputations. Any news story can affect perceptions. Reputation management is a powerful resilience asset!

Listen to Paul’s suggested soundtrack for this post

In life or in business, it is worth noting that our reputation is based on the sum total of how our stakeholders perceive us. We may believe we are good and some believe they are a far better than they actually are (opinion).

Perception is often
different to reality
Across the world today, there are so many challenges that people will face. True disaster, injury, illness, psychological and mental health issues, physical abuse, famine, war, terrorism, conflict, hunger and pain, but to name a few. We each face our own personal tragedies, either privately or business related.


In the UK over the last week, an ex professional footballer (soccer) was captured on video spitting towards the direction of another car travelling alongside his. This followed some ‘exchange of words’ between the ex professional and the person videoing the incident.

This story was/is high profile news in the UK, regardless of the other millions of life threatening issues going on.

It’s a news story and
stakeholders have an interest!

Some of the other facts in this incident are:

  1. The ex professional footballer is now a TV Pundit working for SKY, in particular giving his expert opinion on football games.
  2. SKY of course, is a global business and brand
  3. The person videoing the ex professional was an adult male. It is known that a 14-year girl was in the passenger seat of the car the ex professional spat towards. The girl is the daughter of the driver filming the incident. The name of this other driver has now been published.


Lessons identified from this ‘unsavoury’ incident will be captured in time and there remains some potential legal issues to be considered on all parts. I have only stated some of the facts above.

But there is an important business continuity management (BCM) and resilience element here that should not go unnoticed by those working in managerial roles.

How reputation can so easily
be placed in the spotlight?

Whether you are an employee, an employer, an entrepreneur, a corporate organization or even a country, brand reputation is critical to attract trust and future business. Years of hard work building up the ‘brand’ and feeling ‘comfortable’.

Looks like we made it”, as Barry Manilow once sang.

We are successful, even when working within the guidelines and regulations of the organization or our own personal ethics. We are resilient…..?

A moment of madness” the ex professional has since suggested when facing the media.

But these things happen in life; ‘moments of madness or unplanned, uncalled for, unexpected occurrences’ which damage the ‘brand’. In this case, as more evidence and facts became more public, ‘brands’ become tarnished. The ex professional, SKY, and the father/driver.


Time will eventually tell what becomes of this incident. To some, the story is already tomorrows chip paper (showing my age). How the three entities address their issues and the legalities, is a matter for them.

As for their reputation, which is affected more? The ex professional and his personality career? The mega media organization? Or the ‘family’ man?In life and in business, any ‘unplanned’, ‘unforeseen’ event that occurs and then becomes knowledge to ‘stakeholders’, is going to impact on reputation. How that is managed right from the first moment is vital.

In the world of instant, live media reporting, ‘holding statements’ are not as viable as they once were. Confirmation of what has happened is necessary and how it is being addressed, is the best way forward. Full facts emerge over time and opinions and reputations go hand in hand.

Time isn’t just a healer, it confirms,
repairs or destroys reputations

Understanding our stakeholders and the perceptions that can arise from an adverse event can help leaders, managers and ourselves to consider the ‘what ifs’ in advance and ensure decision making is based on an assessment of the information and intelligence available, at that time.

Scanning the horizon for the risks, hazards and threats in advance will help inform a communication strategy for sure, but often, we still need to be prepared for when the stuff (not just the ex professional’s spit) hits the fan!

How we manage our reputation to stakeholders and observers, is a powerful asset of resilience.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation!

Paul Kudray

A truly down to earth, grounded individual who is a resilience professional. Helping people and organizations to build and maintain their capabilities to respond to and recover from, crisis, emergencies or disasters. Paul is the ‘resilience maverick’ because he is not like the average resilience professional. Paul wants to help everyone be a bit more resilient because they can!

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