If you were to act with conduct that causes extensive negative public relations, would your entire company disintegrate? How closely tied are your individual actions to your company’s brand and well-being? In general, if an individual at a corporation caused trouble, that position in the company would be replaced, the company would manage the bad PR, and everyone would move on. The United States doesn’t cease to exist if a president has a scandal. The CEO of a company can rarely bring down an entire firm.
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Martha Stewart all have corporations based on their own fame, expertise and business ventures. They rely on their personal brand. Martha Stewart’s corporation did continue on while she was in jail for insider trader violations. But she claimed to have lost “billions” because she was not an active participant in her company. Billions!
Are you protecting your brand?
If your company is based on your personal brand then you need to manage that brand every moment of every day. If your company has a corporate brand, you, of course, need to manage the brand as well, but the risks are less because one person does not have the same dramatic effect on a corporate brand as they do on a personal brand.
If you are your company (as in most small businesses) have you considered how you are protecting your brand? Are you protecting your brand during your public interactions with others? Do you act in accordance to how you run your business? For instance, flying off the handle during business interactions not only damages your reputation, but has the potential to damage the heart of your business. Doing things like trying to negotiate price with other businesses yet never reducing yours shows contradictions in your values.
In today’s online world where someone can post a complaint or review in seconds after a bad, or good, interaction – you have to be increasingly serious about managing your very valuable brand.