How VITAL is the reputational health of your business or organisation?

At the heart of a robust public relations program beats five foundational elements that, when combined strategically, are critical to the ongoing reputational health (and success) of any business, government body or nonprofit organisation.

I call them PR’s VITAL signs, and they are:






In order to thrive and prosper in today’s hyper-competitive connection economy, companies, nonprofit organisations, government agencies and personal brand-based businesses need to establish, build, enhance and safeguard a reputation that’s both recognised and respected.
A strong reputation will enhance purchase consideration, which is obviously important if you’re in the business of selling goods and services.
But it has a powerful knock-on effect as well.
If your business will gain an upper hand by recruiting top-notch employees, a solid reputation will help in attracting quality talent.
If raising capital or attracting investment partners is your goal – BOOM! Your reputation has a key role to play here.
If you’re a nonprofit and your goal is to galvanise public opinion behind your cause – in turn potentially leading to increased community donations and philanthropic and/or government funding – then a strong reputation needs to be a cornerstone of your organisation’s existence.
Reputation is forged by deed but shaped by communications, and communications is driven by public relations.


  • Does it have an ongoing visible presence in the marketplace or community in which you operate?
  • Are you able to have an impact by motivating people to take a specific course of action?
  • Do people trust your brand?
  • Are you purposefully building and cultivating a base of fans, allies and champions of your organisation, people who will spread word positively about your brand and if necessary go into bat for you if and when the shit hits the fan?
  • Is your business or organisation considered to be a leader in its field or the community or industry in which you operate?

While a solid spread of these keystone elements of PR will help businesses and organisations grow and fortify their brand and reputation, I’m cognisant an organisation’s goals will ultimately dictate those areas where extra heft is needed.

That said, I am in no doubt the organisations that leverage the power of owned, earned and social media (not just media relations!) to strategically build visibility, influence, trust, advocacy and leadership in the marketplace ongoing, over time, will be those that are in the best position to thrive in tomorrow’s increasingly complex, noisy and ever-changing world.


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