The rise and the fall of a star CEO

Two interesting articles on Marissa Mayer’s journey at Yahoo! have been recently published.

Marissa Mayer fades out as Yahoo ends its run
Why Marissa Mayer is the ‘least likable’ CEO in tech

I will do my best to comment the situation, through this blog, as soon as I can.

Stay tuned.

Reporters, do your homework when you talk about credibility

We are not talking about credibility here, but trustworthiness…

Credibility is about messages (Do I believe what Trump just said. Is Trump credible to me), trustworthiness is about actions (Do I trust Trump’s to do what he promised to do).

Misunderstanding of important constructs. Reporters, please do your homework.

Listen to the conversation between two CNN reporters: www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/04/18/trump-credibility-score-drop-gallup-poll-chalian-ath.cnn

La crédibilité vue autrement après la crise de Bombardier

J’écris sur la crédibilité des entreprises en général aujourd’hui et prenons le cas récent de Bombardier, dont la crédibilité et la réputation sont mal menées depuis quelques jours.

Le PDG de l’entreprise, Alain Bellemare, a avoué ce matin sur les ondes de RDI que Bombardier n’avait pas vu venir la crise et qu’il y avait une leçon de communication à retenir. En fait, ils avaient bien raison de ne l’avoir pas vu venir, il n’y avait pas de crise au départ, il ne s’agissait que d’un enjeu touchant qu’une seule partie prenante, les actionnaires. Nous connaissons tous et toutes les étapes de la naissance d’une crise.

Pas de crédibilité, pas de dialogue

Cependant, avec une analyse complète des enjeux, des autres parties prenantes et des publics latents (voir la Situational Theory de Grunig), Bombardier aurait dû voir l’enjeu de communication venir par la grande porte. Quelques jours plus tard, on assiste donc à une crise majeure avec l’ensemble des parties prenantes, une crédibilité et une réputation grandement mal menées et meurtries pour très longtemps. Dois-je vous répéter que la crédibilité prend des années à construire et quelques jours à perdre.

Je vais cependant me concentrer sur la crédibilité de manière générale aujourd’hui et surtout ne pas blâmer Bombardier ni d’autres entreprises. Je tiens tout d’abord à vous rappeler que la crédibilité est la base de tout processus de communication, si vos publics ne croient pas vos messages, aucun dialogue n’est possible.

On croit un message, un porte-parole est crédible

La crédibilité est un actif intangible souvent négligé par les organisations et un élément déterminant pour construire une réputation; je l’ai déjà expliqué dans l’article Revisiting a powerful corporate asset: Credibility (bit.ly/2nAQoMI). Le schéma qui suit explique visuellement comment le branding contribue à construire l’image et l’image à créer de la confiance; la confiance étant la base de la crédibilité (Prud’homme). Il y a certes plusieurs autres facteurs qui entrent en jeu pour construire la crédibilité d’une personne ou même d’une entreprise.

Le processus de construction de la réputation

reputation building framework
Des dizaines de facteurs de crédibilité ont été étudiés depuis les années ’50, dont mon étude de maîtrise portant sur les facteurs de crédibilité en situation de crise en 2003 (voir amzn.to/2nAZuZW). Les porte-parole, les gestionnaires et les entreprises doivent toutefois retenir qu’il ne faut pas maîtriser tous les facteurs de crédibilité pour être crédible, mais il faut plutôt être confortable avec certains d’entre eux et avoir une stratégie qui tient la route. C’est ce que le credibility engineering (voir bit.ly/2oQNSSL) propose aux professionnel(le)s qui travaillent sur la crédibilité et la réputation des entreprises.

Les piliers du credibility engineering (Prud’homme)

pillars.png

À travers le credibility engineering, nous comprenons que le mythe que “l’on croit un porte-parole ou une entreprise” est révolu. En fait, les gens croient un message et perçoivent le porte-parole ou l’entreprise comme étant crédible (Prud’homme).

Le processus de la crédibilité (Prud’homme) serait donc :

Picture1.png

La crédibilité est une transaction

Ceci dit, il est crucial de comprendre que la crédibilité n’est pas seulement une relation mais surtout une transaction. La crédibilité est un élément fondamental dans la création et le consolidation des relations avec les parties prenantes, c’est clair (voir amzn.to/2nAZuZW). Ce qui est moins évident est de concevoir une transaction entre un porte-parole et ses publics, une décision que prennent les personnes de croire ou ne pas croire des messages et d’attribuer de la crédibilité aux porte-parole et aux organisations, avec les avantages ou conséquences générés. J’ai déjà expliqué les notions de transactions et d’échanges d’information à travers le système de la crédibilité (voir amzn.to/2nAZuZW) :

credibility ecosystem

Retour sur investissement de la crédibilité

Dernier point, le credibility engineering permet non seulement de concevoir une solide stratégie basée sur des KPIs pour construire la crédibilité mais aussi d’évaluer et mesurer la crédibilité et ce, malgré son intangibilité. L’Institut de la crédibilité offre notamment un outil d’évaluation et de mesure pour aider les professionnel(le)s travaillant sur la crédibilité.

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Rédigé par :
Stéphane Prud’homme, MA, MBA, PhD (ABD)
Directeur, Institut de la crédibilité – Credibility Institute
Contact : credibilityinstitute.com/contact
Twitter : @stepru   |   @credibilityctr

stephaneprudhomme.ca   |   www.institutcredibilite.ca

The four-step PR concept created by John Marston – RACE

intro2publicrelations

This acronym defines a particular process of Public relations.

Research

– This phase is mostly about finding what is the problem/situation. It describes the problems faced by the organisations it looks at what is involved and how specific it is to the directions of the organisations goals. In this phase PRP can look at maximizing the most positive outcomes.

Action

– This phase is mostly about program planning and what is going to be done about it. The main focus in this phase is to determine the best course of action to address to the problem.

Communication

– The communication phase is all about determining how the public will be told; it utilized all of the appropriate media to ensure that the message can be delivered successfully to there target audience. If they are successful it will have positive affects on the organisation and its public.

Evaluation

– In this…

View original post 47 more words

What are Electronic Public Relations, ePR, Digital PR?

ePR, sometimes called Online PR or Digital PR, is quite recent compared to traditional PR with its decades of history. It is mostly the strategically planned use of internet-based and new media tools and technologies to build and to maintain a dialogue (Two-way communication) between an organization and its publics. ePR also offers a major contribution to manage online crisis, when social media and online reputation are impacted.

Marketers are wrongly trying to tell the world that they have the expertise of online content management with inbound marketing and content marketing, but only PR can pretend that.

Read more.

Revisiting a powerful corporate asset: Credibility

Here is why a corporation should invest in building credibility

We often hear about corporate trust, corporate reputation or leadership but rarely about source and corporate credibility. Experts frequently try to convince corporate professionals and spokespersons to follow rules and tips, or a 10-step process to improve their credibility. Or even worst, how many times did you hear that a spokesperson needs only expertise and charisma to be credible?

It is actually a wrong understanding of this fundamental skill and powerful intangible asset that is credibility. Based on a research realized in the early 2000 (now under review by its author), it is impossible to build and maintain credibility through a 10-step miracle process sold by charlatans, credibility lives and dies within an open system (Prud’homme, 2004).

Credibility as an open system

Contrarily to a close system, an open system lives through constant interactions between its internal and external elements, this is what Ludwig von Bertalanffy called negentropy in 1968 through his General System Theory. He defined an open system “as a system in exchange of matter with its environment, presenting import and export, building-up and breaking-down of its material components” (von Bertalanffy in panarchy.com). A detail important to remember is that

A central topic of systems theory is self-regulating systems, i.e. systems self-correcting through feedback (Wikipedia).

In the following figure, it is possible to see the typical spokesperson’s credibility system with a general view as well as the five elements and the different interactions between them.

Untitled

These five elements, individually or all together, could have major impacts on a spokesperson’s credibility, whether it is a communication dramatic situation, e.g. a crisis, powerful stakeholders attacking the corporation’s reputation, messages not adapted to a situation, bad communication strategy associated to a wrong public targeting tactic, all that might lead to a disaster in terms of losing credibility, especially in a crisis situation, during which everything is accelerated, as we all know.

Once practitioners and leaders understand credibility as an open system, they can start to appreciate the system’s elements and the interactions between them as well as the factors that structure and build corporate spokesperson’s credibility.

Credibility factors

In the same study (Prud’homme, 2004), it has been found that ten credibility factors/components influence the population to judge a spokesperson credible or not, because at all times a spokesperson is credible only in people’s mind, his/her audience.

As you can see in the following table, the top-10 factors are common sense. But what was new in this research is how to integrate these factors to a credibility system and how to build and maintain (and even regain) credibility.

factors

As it is possible to see in the right column of the table, a spokesperson can control almost all of them, except charisma. Some scholars say that some leaders are able to develop charisma, it is true indeed, but it is harder to develop charisma than exercising control on the other factors.

The intimate relationship between a spokesperson and his/her credibility

Credibility is not only related to influence and persuasion, but also to the act of informing, communicating, having a dialog with an audience, receiving feedback. That is to create and maintain a relationship of trust and sharing between a spokesperson or a corporation and their publics and stakeholders.

We must understand that credibility exists only in function of a reflection or a perception, it does not exist by itself, it starts in the mind of every member of an audience. A spokesperson is not credible because he/she thinks that he/she is credible, it is only how the audience perceives his/her credibility.

Members of an audience must have confidence in him/her and must have the feeling of being respected. (Prud’homme, 2004)

Credibility does not equal effectiveness. A credible spokesperson sincerely wishes to establish and maintain a relationship of trust and mutual understanding with his/her publics rather than being effective. I mentioned “dialog” because credibility is a two-way symmetrical communication (Grunig and Hunt, 1984). A credible spokesperson always demonstrates a great flexibility and a mindset of openness along with a constant authenticity.

To be credible, a spokesperson should know his strengths and weaknesses, because above all, he/she is a human being in a complex and uncertain environment (Prud’homme, 2004).

Finally, we must understand that credibility is built, managed and can be strengthened, but never won (Prud’homme, 2004) and that anyone should avoid at all costs to perform miracle recipes such as: “10 steps to become an effective spokesperson” coming from public speaking best-seller handbooks.

Credibility is lived day by day. It is a lifestyle one chooses to live or not. Credibility reinforcement is an arduous and long-term approach that positively contributes to build trust and reputation as well as a sharing and constructive dialog between a spokesperson and the population.

Credibility before trust and leadership

A fact that so many practitioners and leaders forget is the primacy that credibility has over trust and leadership. It should be easy to figure that if there is no credibility, there is no trust, no leadership. Therefore, trust and leadership should be considered as credibility’s crucial elements.

It is especially true in crisis management. How a spokesperson and a corporation could be trustworthy and recognized as a leader, two major considerations in crisis management, if there are not credible?

Why a corporation should invest to build credibility?

Managers who do not believe that they should seriously prepare for possible crisis to arise are not able to answer this question and they probably already stopped reading this blog anyways.

Credibility brings not only an impressive return on investment (ROI) to corporations in terms of two-way symmetrical communication and a powerful and long-term relationship with all stakeholders, but it can also save corporations from a disaster originated through a crisis or even solve it. It also contributes to reduce uncertainty.

The only constraint when a corporation decides to work on its credibility is the time, and in business, time is cash. People do not realize how long it could be to build a credibility sound enough to help them to get out of a crisis situation or to build a relationship with stakeholders. We often say that it takes years to build credibility and it takes hours to lose, and it is so true. On the long run though, it is worth to invest time as well as above-the-line, below-the-line and through-the-line capital.

Why your publics and your stakeholders should listen to you when you try communicating about a crisis or an issue if they do not believe you at first?

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Author:
Stephane Prud’homme, MA, i.e.MBA, PhD Candidate
stepru.com  |  credibilityinstitute.com
All Rights Reserved – 2015

Keywords: Credibility, source credibility, corporate credibility, spokesperson, trust, reputation, crisis, crisis management, uncertainty, return on investment, ROI, two-way symmetrical communication, management, leadership.