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Commercial Reputation: When One’s Word is Not Enough
26 May 2018
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Building and maintaining reputation: multidimensional and tough

Today a word of honour is obviously not enough. Business reputation is a lot of small and large details, a lot of biased opinions — Ekaterina Trofimova, Chief Executive Officer, Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA).

The quality of goods is 72% of the impact on the business reputation rating — Alexander Layevsky, Deputy Head of the Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

First you need to win trust, no matter what you do. <...> Reputation is when you stay true to your word. <...> This is the main thing in business, and it should be the main thing in politics. Years and everyday efforts allow you to gain a reputation. <...> And it's easy to destroy a reputation — David Iakobachvili, Vice President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP); President, Orion Heritage LLC.

Reputation is a delicate matter, nowadays it has many areas and multiple ways to create and maintain it. We did a survey / <...> Most respondents from different groups point out three factors: the quality of goods and services that the company produces, fulfilling obligations in general <...> and compliance with the law. <...> This is not a full list of factors, but they are important, as these are the qualities that the corporation should protect, because these are its most vulnerable areas — Sergey Shapiguzov, Managing Partner, President, FBK Grant Thornton.

Business reputation: financial asset

Business reputation as an independent management aspect has the right to exist. <...> To date, this is one of the financial assets of companies that can be measured financially. They need to be managed, and this process must be permanent — Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship Directorate, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

Reputation is the difference between the asset that you have and the amount you can get in return for it — Julia Morozova, General Director, Creative Production.

The fall in reputation by 1% leads to a loss of 3% of the market value of the company — Yuriy Yudenkov, Professor, Department of Finance and Banking (DFB), Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Reputation is a certain quality seal for a business or a person. <...> Perhaps this can be measured — Marat Biktimirov, General Director, E-Arena National Association of Research and Educational e-Infrastructures.

ISSUES
More difficult to maintain reputation in modern information world is more

The Internet does not forget anything, and therefore it is more difficult to protect reputation. <...> Some governments are already trying to influence social networks — Marc Bartholomy, Partner and Head of Corporate and Real Estate Practices at Clifford Chance CIS Limited.

Any time, the reputation of a company or person can be trampled. <...> When a trend appears, it instantly spreads around the entire industry - no matter who is right, who is to blame, everything changes instantly. All the ways that we’ve used for a long time – ratings, social responsibility and social investments – are now getting depreciated, and we need to look for completely new opportunities. <...> When we are engaged in social projects, it comes from the heart, and in many situations this can cover for a negative effect. Today we must think about artificial intelligence, about new technologies, but we must not forget about the heart — Vladimir Yablonsky, Chairman of the Board, Association for Social Development.

The higher the quality of your brand and the more reverent you are to it, the more interesting it is for scammers. <...> Most people tend towards negative information. It is brighter, more interesting. Therefore, it takes colossal costs to correct their reputation — Ruslan Novikov, General Director of Argumenty I Facty Ltd.

PR tools importance underestimated

It's right to tell about yourself. The problem of Soviet products is known: candies seem to be alright, but they are packed in such a way that you don’t really want to come any closer — Ekaterina Trofimova, Chief Executive Officer, Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA).

Uncertainty of business reputation as legal category

There is no precise definition of business reputation as a notion in Russian Law. <...> In other jurisdictions, the same problem exists, but there is a long-standing court practice that helps us get an idea of what business reputation is — Marc Bartholomy, Partner and Head of Corporate and Real Estate Practices at Clifford Chance CIS Limited.

SOLUTIONS
Reputation starts with trust within the company

How to maintain a reputation? First of all, it takes trust within the company – among employees and between employees and management — Yuriy Yudenkov, Professor, Department of Finance and Banking (DFB), Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Need for legislation against fake news

One of the tasks for legislators is to really limit the spread of circumstances that affect reputation — Marc Bartholomy, Partner and Head of Corporate and Real Estate Practices at Clifford Chance CIS Limited.

Publicity. Improving reporting quality

You cannot protect yourself from unfair competition. But you can oppose it with openness and transparency of the company, as well as reliable and balanced information. <...> The quality of reporting – financial and non-financial – should be high, because this is the subject of communication with each partner. <...> Today, 72 international exchanges have introduced rules for non-financial information accounting — Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship Directorate, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

The standards of integrated reporting require measuring, in particular, there’s a notion of social reputation capital — Vladimir Skobarev, Partner at FBK Grant Thornton.

An ideal situation is when you can quickly get not just a set of information, but a summary about an enterprise or a person, built in aggregate on a cumulative and carefully measured appraisal of a business reputation — Alexander Layevsky, Deputy Head of the Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS