Positioning , Reputation and Stakeholder Management .








Positioning , Reputation and Stakeholder Management .

We live in an open world where everyone can look inside. Transparency is the buzz word but transparency also creates new challenges.  We support  individual directors, management teams and board members and supervisors and supply an answer to this new reality where the traditional laws of communication only partly apply. Sliding panels , moving mirrors .


As trusted  board advisors we prefer to work behind the scenes. We identify complex and conflicting interests quickly and approach all communication issues from a communication and legal background. Our expertise is long and broad. Our track record too.


Positioning is to choose, not to choose is not getting chosen

Positioning is capitalizing on your strengths and making your hidden values visible.


How do I remain identifiable and can I be found? More than ever, organizations need to have  their strategic positioning in excellent condition in order to be identified and found in the forest of offers and propositions.


The essence of positioning is getting a preferred position in the mind of your target audience .

Claim an autonomous position in the market and offer a vision on the environment in which your organization operates. Good positioning is clearly distinctive  (from the competition), credible (since it reflects the organization’s behavior) and relevant (for all stakeholders ). Positioning is getting your act together. Which values are driving the organization and how does it live up to its brand proposition? Positioning is capitalizing on your strengths and making your hidden values visible .


Reputation Management protects against the escalation of incidents

Internet and social media and the increasing influence of (public) stakeholders create an enormous risk of rapid escalation of incidents and conflicts leading to unnecessary reputation damage. Effective reputation management can prevent this.

Reputation management is not only a catalyst for value creation, it is also an essential part of risk management. A good reputation is sustainable  and protects against escalation of incidents and conflicts.


Unlike image, reputation is the DNA expression of the organization and the way it fits into the context of that organization. A good corporate story clarifies the often quite abstractly worded mission and vision and provides shareholders, customers, employees and other stakeholders with a story in which they can believe. Because it's true. And that is the solid foundation for reputation management.


Stakeholder Management, you can’t choose your stakeholders, they choose you.


Organizations have more stakeholders than before, and they play an important role. The major stakeholders are generally known : investors, shareholders, members, customers, politicians, press, (potential) employees and special interest groups. The question is whether you have sufficient knowledge of and feeling for their perception of the organization and with which issues they will confront the organization. And if this knowledge is still up to date.



Crisis and Conflict Communication


Many (dormant) reputation issues originate from inadequate communication. That is why they escalate as well. Parties dig in, react out of emotions running high, communicate through lawyers and are trying to prove they are right instead of trying to solve the conflict. This may lead to value destruction and damaged (personal) reputations.


Advice from independent experts on do’s and don’ts in direct contact with the other party, if and how to react in the media, and how to involve other alliances and venues are of great value when reputation is under pressure. Because - fortunately – organizations themselves do not have much expertise with these matters.


This involves overview and distance, knowing the rules, knowing how things are run, how management, board members and stakeholders think and what they are afraid of. It involves courage too, the courage to keep a straight back and to mutually define the issues at hand.


Board room conflicts

Dormant (media-sensitive) conflicts within the top result in loss of mutual confidence and in suboptimal collaboration. A structured approach to restore good governance relationships can prevent the conflict spinning  out of control and becoming publicly known.


Conflicts with external parties

Conflicts with stakeholders often reach (also due to the use of social media) the public domain. The story is out and cannot be retrieved. A swift and appropriate response can prevent unnecessary escalation. Identifying and having a good understanding of stakeholder’s  interests and allies (often unexpected coalition partners) is crucial for successful de-escalation.


Mistakes and accidents

Accidents happen and can suddenly be defining for the entire organization when not acted upon swiftly and adequately. This can be difficult, because of yet unclear liabilities and other legal consequences .

It’s essential to be as transparent as possible and to bring the issue back to its proper proportions without seeming to sweep it under the carpet.