Credibility and Your Business’ Reputation
by Frank L. Williams
In my last post, I touched on the importance of credibility. Credibility can be defined as the quality of being trusted and believed in or the quality of being convincing or believable. This column focuses on how a business’ reputation and credibility are interdependent and how they impact a business’ brand.
If you are in business, there are (hopefully) a set of experiences, expertise and accomplishments that form the foundation of your organization’s credibility. If not, that is an entirely different subject; if so, keep reading.
Let’s start by looking at some definitions of “reputation”:
- the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something;
- a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic.
Your business’ reputation is rooted in how others perceive it. If you have 30 years of experience in a particular field, but no one knows about it, that experience isn’t doing much to boost your credibility. If your website boasts about great customer service, but your online reviews are loaded with complaints about poor customer service, your reputation undermines your credibility. If your company claims to be community-minded but isn’t involved in the community, you will have a credibility issue. The reputation that precedes your business has a defining impact on your credibility in the eye of the beholder.
To paraphrase a statement from last month’s column, if you lack perceived credibility, you will have difficulty achieving your public relations goals — or any business goals, for that matter.
Do you have a clear idea of what forms the basis of your business’ credibility? Do you have a plan to showcase your accomplishments and expertise? If not, drop us a line.