How important is business integrity to your business? Would you risk your business integrity for a headline, media coverage or to pull in a new customer? How about the people who work for you – what would they do? If you haven’t asked yourself this question, perhaps you should.
Your own personal integrity, as a small business owner, can guide your organization’s integrity; as a business owner your staff look to you in order to find the expected way to behave. However, the organizational integrity of your business is also reliant on those you have working for you – everyone from customer service to marketing and PR could, possibly, jeopardize your businesses’ integrity.
After following #CommsChat on Twitter this week (a discussion based on marketing and PR) a significant amount of the discussion came back to how important the truth was when it comes to PR and the damage it could cause to a business if their PR was unreliable, or worse still, lied to get results and headlines.
Thankfully, the vast majority of the participants in #CommsChat held the reputation and integrity of the business, whether their own or a clients’, at the top of their priority list. But, some excellent points were made regarding the impact that having an “anything for the headline” attitude can have.
Business integrity and reputation is something that is built up over many years, but can also be destroyed incredibly quickly with one bad decision or half-truth. Publicity is crucial to every business, however, as social media changes the way we work and build relationships, ‘spin’ generated to create a newsworthy story can backfire at best and, at its worst, can cause devastation for a business.
Social media creates not only a transparency to the way we all do business, but also a means for reputation to be devastated in mere hours. Reputation, integrity and honesty are more important in business than ever before.
So, how can you gain publicity without the spin? Create a newsworthy story; help a charity, run a training course or release a great new product. As well a making it more important than ever to ensure our PR campaigns are transparent, social media also means that we no longer need headline grabbing stories to secure publicity – get people talking about your business on social media and the results will surprise you.
Building relationships on integrity, trust and reputation and instill a corporate integrity throughout your business to ensure your employees do the same is vital and the rise of social media is making this both more important, and easier, than ever before.