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What Reputation Audits Mean for Companies

Governance, Risk and Compliance

Posted September 25, 2015 By Joe Crampton

Reputation is no longer just something people work to develop in high school – now, it’s quickly become a factor that’s highly relevant to the success of companies. Businesses with a positive reputation are able to appeal to customers and shareholders alike, enabling organizations to win more sales and encourage greater confidence from investors. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the rise of digital technologies has placed even more importance on reputation. Image-shattering stories will now spread quickly, and often they’ll hit mainstream media before businesses can even respond. Many organizations are now conducting reputation audits to ensure their brand image remains intact.

Jason Pett, PwC’s U.S. leader of internal audit services and co-author of the report, explained the reputation audit process to CFO magazine. Using various analysis tools, auditors will scrub conversations on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Auditors are looking for anything that impacts the company’s reputation and movements in consumer confidence in the brand. “They’re looking for issues going viral very quickly or trending on Twitter that might affect the brand, and actively trying to get ahead of that,” Pett told the news source. Critical to reputation auditing is sentiment analysis – a tool used in the marketing world that audit professionals are now leveraging.

The goal is to be able to see reputational risks as they arise and deal with them before they blow. Negative stories can quickly spread through social media in a matter of 24 hours or less, but by monitoring these websites, risk managers and auditors are better able to deal with these threats.

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