The Chief Financial Officer cares about reputation. They care about their personal reputation, the reputation of the company that employs them, and the reputation of the people and companies their employer does business with. Reputations are very important to CFOs.
To find out more about how Reputation Management affects the Chief Financial Officer, I spoke with Michael Fertik. Michael is founder and CEO of Reputation.com, a leading and award-winning Internet Reputation Management Company based out of Redwood City, California. Reputation.com’s mission is to empower individuals and businesses to control their privacy and reputation online.
Fertik sees Reputation Management as a very important issue for CFOs. He finds that CFOs are not only a key organizational leader working to manage the reputation of the company, but that Chief Financial Officers are also very aware that managing their personal reputation is key to their career success. In today’s age where every person has to manage their own career and be their own PR agents, being responsible for your own reputation is important to CFOs, who tend to have high profile visibility on the internet.
With CFOs often responsible for Risk Management at a company, Fertik finds that CFOs are many times the one calling on Reputation.com to help instead of the head of marketing or communications.
Fertik believes that CFOs need to know how important Reputation Management is to a company. Referring to a survey of risk managers, Fertik points out that the number one major risk to a company is not financial risk or catastrophic risk, but reputation risk. He points out that this is true no matter the size of the company.
There are 2 factors that affect a company’s reputation according to Fertik.
Product / service reputation. This impacts corporate reputation, customer reputation, business positioning and strategic leadership reputation.
Personal reputation of key executives, including the CFO. Every potential and current customer, supplier and employee is looking you up on the Internet AND making decisions based on what they find. Fertik says that surveys show that the internet is the number one source of information on people and companies and that people rely overwhelmingly on quick assessments based on very quick searches to make actionable decisions about those subjects.
How does Reputation.com help CFOs manage their Reputation Risk?
Reputation.com’s product suite, with dashboards, maps and understandable tools, makes it easy for Risk Managers and CFOs to identify and remedy online reputation problems.
CFOs that have been part of an executive team that has had to deal with a reputation crisis know that these challenges can have catastrophic impact on their company and its employees. In a crisis situation, Michael’s team at Reputation.com continues to deliver results as reputation crisis experts with their ability to operate 24/7, using their tools and learned knowledge from helping companies in crisis all over the world.
Fertik recommends that companies take a proactive approach to managing Reputation Risk. He says that it costs 20 times more on average to solve a reputation crisis as opposed to preventing the problem from happening on the internet in the first place.
Have you ever had to manage a reputation crisis as CFO?