Yes, but then asks a clued up client “’Which type?’’
How do you respond? What do you say? What is your elevator speech handle? (An Elevator speech handle is what you should say to someone about what it is you do for a living, between two floors in a high rise building – Short, sweet and succinct)
Which type are you, and what is your focus?
The same misconceptions arises in the Crisis Management industry. As a customer with a need, who do you consult?
A Crisis Management consultant or a Crisis Communication consultant? This distinction is important as it will influence your decision on which consultant to use.
This is a vital decision, because PR consultancies tend to deal with the communication challenges only, whilst Crisis Management consultants tend to deal with the whole Siamese twin. (I call a Crisis a Siamese twin because I do not believe that you can separate a crisis into its reality and perceptual parts) and ultimately offers more comprehensive services.
In the same vein, it is important for companies to decide what type of Reputation Management consultant, they want to deal with.
The proliferation of online or internet reputation consultants have created this misconception about reputation management consultants, i.e that they are either Social media experts or are just another PR consultancy.
I am here to set the matter straight.
There are three types of reputation management consultants available today. They are:
1. Online reputation management consultants;
2. Business reputation management consultants;
3. Personal reputation management consultants.
Online Reputation Management consultants focus on internet reputation and predominantly social media tools and usage. The 3rd one – Personal Reputation is often taken care of by PR consultancies, Image specialists, Coaches and counsellors that can assist a person to not only change their behavior but for instance, act out a plan to improve their personal position or standing in a community or workplace.
The 2nd one, Business reputation management consultants provides far more comprehensive services, including management consulting, advice, strategic planning and capacity building in the organization. The skills needed by these types of consultants I wrote about in my blog post – The Skills needed by a Chief Reputation Officer – http://bit.ly/4HCefv
Traditional PR consultancies tend to gravitate between Nr 1 and Nr. 2 – however their focus is different, and deals more with communication, marketing & perceptual challenges.
Thus, it becomes an important decision of whom you want to work with. Do you need only a communication solution? Do you need help with a blog attack or a bad presence on the Net, or do you want to change your position on the World’s Most Admired Company survey rankings?
When you want to put a skylight into your home, do you obtain the services of a General Handyman or do you enlist the services of someone who specialises in installing skylights?
Because reputation is a very complex asset and risk, and can be affected by so many issues and peculiarities, the use of a business reputation management consultant should be preferred, because not only do they understand the nature and value of reputation and communication, they also understand people and organisations as complex systems.
So, just like going to restaurant, choose your service provider and dish with care!