Topic: Reputation

Reputation tips and tricks

Local Runs in the Family 0

By Maria Adragna

Maria Adragna joined our NYC Sales Team as a Sales Representative in July of this year. Maria’s love and appreciation for small business comes from years of watching her family open their own shops, bakeries, and stores. She even co-owned a bakery with her family before joining our team.

I come from a family of local business owners. My grandparents started the tradition nearly 80 years ago when they immigrated to America from Italy.

As immigrants coming to the fairytale land of immense opportunities, my grandfather opened up an antique store on 79th Street and Columbus Ave., right here in New York City. That antique store eventually merged into a trucking and moving business called “Frank’s Express Antiques and Trucking.”

My father (left) at his first store.

My father followed a similar path — he came to America and began his career in the construction business and that eventually allowed him to follow his passion of opening up his first bakery. My father began his apprenticeship at a very young age — learning the necessary skills to become a baker, which was his passion, but also to wear all the other hats a business owner must wear.

That hard work and dedication was instilled in both my brother and I from a very young age. At 13, my very first job was working behind the counter at my dad’s bakery, serving customers and learning how to decorate the cakes. At that age, it seemed very glamorous to be able to tie the boxes with the red and white strings that would hang overhead. To be trusted at the register was what would be the first of many promotions.

In 2000, my father approached my brother and I to purchase the bakery of a friend of his who was retiring. It would be known as “Steve and Maria’s Pastry Shoppe.” We had never been equal partners before, and he saw this as an opportunity to not only pass on all that he knew, but also the family legacy. Without hesitating, my brother and I signed up for what would be the most difficult jobs of our lives.

Being your own boss sounds incredible — but working 24/7? Not so much. A bakery, at first seems like a no brainer: you mix the flour and the sugar and all the other ingredients put it into an oven and out comes a variety of delicious confections. If only it was that simple.

As a small business owner, you’re also a human resource department, a litigator, customer service advocate, marketing specialist, architect, accountant, and janitorial staff. It’s hard work, but it is miraculously rewarding.

You realize that all the hard work and hours really do mean something. You make valuable contributions in your neighborhood as a local business owner. You’re not only contributing to the economy and providing for your family, but you become an integral part of your customers’ lives. You partake in some of the most joyous occasions of their lives. You get to know them and their families, as well as their stories.

For me, this was the most exciting part — whether we were planning a wedding cake, filling boxes of pastries for holiday celebrations, or boxes of cupcakes for a classroom birthday party. We were being of service, which in life is my main purpose.

Nothing can bring you a greater joy than knowing you contributed in some way to the happiness of someone else’s life.

Now, we’re a family of restauranteurs, hair stylists, and even a night club owner. The tradition of being of a local business owner carries on and the gratitude of being of service continues.

Learn more about our team’s love for local — follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Local Runs in the Family was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

The Equifax Data Privacy Crisis is a Major Reputational Black-Eye that will Take Time to Recover From – and it Might Even Have Implications for Other Financial Services Companies 0

No doubt, the Equifax data breach that exposed the personal information of over 140M US consumers will have significant impact on the reputation of the company. The crisis is likely to be debilitating for the business over the short-term, and over the long-term it is going to diminish the potential for Equifax to engender any depth of positive support among its core stakeholders.

Equifax was already challenged pre-crisis, and it did not have much of an emotional buffer of reputational equity to trade off. Based on the US RepTrak® study fielded in early in 2017, Equifax only had an average reputation with a pulse score of 66.5. But according to more recent studies conducted by Reputation Institute based on the risk exposure to data privacy issues, it’s highly likely that Equifax could lose more than 10-pulse points – which would put the company in the realm of having a weak to vulnerable reputation. What that translates into is a significant loss of support on key behavioral measures that underscore the economic viability and prosperity of the organization, including declines in willingness to invest in, license to operate, and benefit of the doubt. However, what’s perhaps most surprising is not that it happened, but how unprepared Equifax was in dealing with the data breach – and the far-reaching implications of what this crisis might mean for the Financial Services industry.


Lessons Learned from Equifax for the Financial Services Industry

With 20/20 hindsight, here are the five key observations and lessons learned that Financial Services companies need to consider:

  1. Prioritize and mitigate for reputation risks related to Governance

As a key component of Corporate Social Responsibility, Governance is a critical dimension of reputation among Financial Services companies accounting for 15% of the total weight of importance. It means that risks related to Governance such as data privacy breaches, cyber-attacks by hacktivists, or egregious attempts to steal customer information by partner companies should be keeping Financial Services companies up at night. Being proactive in developing mitigation strategies for avoidance of such risks is clearly important – as is establishing a play book for knowing how to respond to a crisis as and when it happens.

Learning: Equifax did not seem to have a risk management playbook.

  1. If compromised by a data breach be open and transparent in managing the issue

It took over a month for Equifax to disclose the data breach, and in handling the matter, it has been less than fully open and transparent in divulging the exact details of what happened. Ethics and honesty are key components of good Governance, and therefore in not immediately announcing the breach it served to exacerbate the crisis. Lack of transparency, not only put the company at greater levels of company risk, it also served to unknowingly expose millions of consumers to higher levels of personal risk. This in turn makes the General Public less forgiving of Equifax in how it handled the issue. Even before the data security crisis, Equifax only had an average reputation score of 63.8 on the attributes of “open and transparent in the way it operates.” What has since transpired, will likely result in a significant decline on that measure.

Learning: Delaying disclosure and opacity makes a crisis much worse.

  1. A data privacy breach is now an everyday risk that is waiting to happen

In the last few years, there have been a record number of data privacy breaches – many outside of Financial Services. Remember Target, Home Depot, Sony, Wendy’s even the DNC? According to Bloomberg, there were over 1,000 data breaches recorded in 2016. And so, with data breaches being the new normal, it is hard to fathom as to why Equifax did not have a plan for preparedness? According to recent Reputation Institute studies on reputation risk, the General Public believes there is a more than a 75% probability of a data breach happening within their own Financial Services provider. This suggests that in the same way a CPG company should anticipate a product recall, or in the way in which an airline is concerned about safety, a Financial Services company should be especially paranoid about data breaches.

Lesson: Being unprepared to manage risk that is core to your business is inexcusable.

  1. When it comes to data breaches, don’t assume that “it won’t happen to us”

No one expected such a large and highly established company like Equifax to experience such a widespread data breach. Based on the pre-crisis US RepTrak® data from earlier in 2017, Equifax recorded a strong reputation score of 76.4 on the merits of strong data privacy and security practices (although that is unlikely to be the case post crisis.) And you would expect that before the crisis the management at Equifax thought they had all the appropriate measures in place to protect the organization against a significant breach. But perhaps inherent within the risk management approach of Equifax, there was an institutional inertia that was grounded on the assumption of a false sense of security.

Lesson: You can’t plan for a potential risk if you don’t pre-measure its severity

  1. Banks, lenders, insurers, or credit cards companies, could be guilty by association with Equifax

The real Impact of the Equifax data breach on the Banking and Financial Services industry is yet to be fully assessed. Seeing the month-on-month trend for August vs. September based on the continuous National Tracker in the US across all financial related benchmarks will be telling. But for now, there’s a distinct possibility that the looming threat of data breaches coupled with the recent events related to Equifax, could have an acute and highly negative impact governance scores across the Banking and Financial Services category – and that could result in an overall decline in reputation. At minimum, a business customer or consumer might think twice about supporting banks, lenders, insures, or credit card companies if they believe the company is strongly aligned with Equifax

Lesson: Don’t point the finger at Equifax because it could come back to bite.

What is the Reputational Prognosis for Equifax?

Equifax is likely to bounce back, but it’s going take time for that to happen based on the way it has mishandled the issue (after the data breach) and for the viscerally negative sentiment to recede in the minds of the General Public.

To accelerate reputation recovery, Equifax might consider the following three point plan:

  1. Provide full disclosure on the data breach, explaining exactly what happened, how it happened, and why it happened – if there is anything else left to be said don’t wait, put it out there
  2. Put measures in place so that a data breach can never happen again – reassure clients of the steps being taken and explain what is being done to mitigate against future risk
  3. Pivot the narrative to the future – don’t continue to over explain the past, rather proceed with confidence, delivery of seamless execution, and win back confidence one individual at a time

Source: Reputation Institute

Bad Social Marketers Lack Insights 0

(Facebook Insights, that is!)

Smart Marketing … uses social analytics to improve engagement.

So, how smart a social marketer are you? See if you can answer these three questions:

  1. What was your competition’s most popular social post last month?
  2. How many people went from social media back to your website over the last quarter?
  3. What type of content gets your audience engaged?

If you rattled the right answers off, no need to read this post. But if the questions left you scratching your head, you need better social marketing insights. Facebook Insights, for example, is one of the most powerful analytics tools around. With just a few clicks, you can instantly access a goldmine of data to help you:

  • see, at a glance, how well your Page is performing;
  • track your competition;
  • drive more audience engagement;
  • ensure your social strategy produces results.

Want to learn how to use Facebook Insights?

Here are a few basics to get you up-to-speed and make you a smarter social marketer:

  1. Get there.
    Navigate to your company Page and click the Insights menu along the top.
  2. Scan your overview.
    The Overview tab provides key metrics for your Page, your five most recent posts and how your Page compares to similar ones (which you can choose with Pages to Watch). The Pages to Watch feature is particularly powerful, because it shows you how you’re performing among competitors – and can even provide ideas for how you can better engage your Facebook fans.
  3. Find out what posts receive the most engagement.
    Facebook has an algorithm that shows your most engaging posts to even more people. Use the Reach tab’s Reactions, Comments, Shares, and More to determine the types of content your audience responds to best – and then build on your success.
  4. Learn who’s viewing your Page – and how people find it.
    Explore the Page Views tab to determine how many people viewed your Page within a certain period, as well as your top sources of traffic (i.e., how people are directed to your Page). You can even drill down within Page Views to determine their age, gender, country, city and type of device – so you can better understand the kind of people who are interested in your Page.
  5. Understand the actions people take on your Page.
    The Actions on Page tab will show you, at a glance, how many people clicked to: get your phone number; visit your website; get directions; or use your Action button (which you can customize for your Page).
  6. See which post types perform the best – and find out when to schedule them.
    Data on the Posts tab will show you how well each type of post (e.g., link, photo or video) fare in terms of reach and engagement. The When Your Fans are Online tab (which is on the Posts tab) shows how active your Facebook fans are throughout the week, so you can choose the best days/times to post content.

Honestly, Facebook Insights is so robust and powerful that we can only scratch the surface in this post. Our suggestion? Log into your account, navigate to your Insights, and start exploring. Look for spikes, as well as patterns that indicate overall upward or downward trends in activity. Use the insights you find to test new tactics, improve your social strategy – and get even better results.

Smart social marketing isn’t rocket science…

…but it does require time, insight and specialized expertise. And it’s what we do best! If you need assistance with any aspect of your company’s social, digital or integrated marketing, give BARQAR’s social media marketing experts a call today.



The post Bad Social Marketers Lack Insights appeared first on BARQAR.

Source: Barqar

Why Managing Your Reputation is Not Enough: Learn How to Continue Building It 0

There was a popular axiom in real estate in years past, “Location! Location! Location!” Indeed, a business could survive with just enough traffic from an excellent location. Word-of-mouth helped, but…

The post Why Managing Your Reputation is Not Enough: Learn How to Continue Building It appeared first on Massive Brand PR.

Source: Massive Alliance