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What companies need to know to protect themselves from reputation risks

In a world where communication is global and nearly instantaneous, events that can damage an organization's reputation can pose a significant threat to the value of the enterprise and its ongoing viability.

  1. Identify & Analyze

    Reputation is one of a company's most valuable assets

  2. Evaluate & Implement

    Responding quickly to reputational-threatening risks

  3. Monitor & Adjust

    Monitoring potential threats, dealing effectively with exposures

Johnson & Johnson Services Inc.'s handling of the 1982 Tylenol product tampering case still is regarded as the gold standard in reputation risk management, but shifting dynamics in media, technology and public expectations have compounded potential brand and image damage from a public relations crisis, said Chris Gidez, global crisis practice co-chair at New York-based Hill+Knowlton Strategies Ltd. ›› More


Supply chain disruptions frequently result in a direct financial hit for businesses, but the damage a disruption can inflict on an organization's reputation can have much longer term consequences. ›› More


Events that damage a company's reputation can have a significant financial effect on its shareholder value and they can come from any number of directions. ›› More


With a Web-connected world making communications truly global and bad news traveling at the speed of a tweet, organizations are increasingly concerned about events that can put their reputations at risk. Serious reputational damage can jeopardize the viability of a business, so it's not surprising the exposure is moving up among executives' top risk concerns. Here are some organizations that have experienced major reputational blows in the past few years. ›› More


While insurance is widely available to respond to most cyber risks, including data breaches, most cyber policies do not provide sufficient coverage to restore a business' damaged reputation or devalued intellectual property, or to pay for security upgrades after an attack. ›› More


High-profile events, such as child sexual abuse allegations involving Pennsylvania State University and the Costa Concordia cruise ship capsizing off the coast of Italy, have focused credit rating agencies' attention on reputational risks. ›› More


As Pennsylvania State University faces litigation alleging the school failed to prevent a former assistant football coach from sexually abusing children, reputational damage is top of mind for risk managers at educational institutions. ›› More



Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Managing Reputational Risk

The Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at the Poole College of Management of North Carolina State University discusses the importance of organizations’ reputations and how few companies are actually focusing on addressing reputational…


The quality of a company's preparation for and response to a reputation-threatening event typically determines that company's success in minimizing the damage to its brand, reputation risk experts say. ›› More


While there has been widespread outrage at the revelation that horse meat has been found in many beef products sold in Europe, and many large retailers have withdrawn the products, few insurance policies are likely to be triggered because no consumers have yet fallen ill. ›› More


In-depth information about an organization's supply chain can help avoid reputation-damaging disruptions and help insurers underwriting supply chain coverage. ›› More


Sales and profits that are lost due to reputational and brand damage are an increasing concern for companies and organizations, and some in-surers have begun offering coverage that indemnifies financial losses stemming from such a crisis. ›› More


As companies and organizations ponder risk transfer solutions to indemnify lost revenue and profit stemming from reputational and brand damage, experts say effective crisis management remains an essential part of mitigating such risks. ›› More


CHICAGO—Insurers and health care organizations need to devise detailed policies on how they and their employees use social media to reduce their risks of violating medical privacy law and damaging their reputations, experts say. ›› More


MIAMI—Reputational risks for companies and organizations are an increasing concern for risk managers, who are examining their captive structures for relief, panelists told the World Captive Forum in Miami in February 2012. ›› More


The fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal for businesses aligned with him through endorsement or sponsorship deals — and for the Livestrong organization Mr. Armstrong formed in 1997 as the Lance Armstrong Foundation — is the latest example of the reputation and brand risks present when such relationships with celebrities go wrong. ›› More


While Austin, Texas-based Livestrong faces challenges as it navigates its relationship with Lance Armstrong, steps it's taken over the past several years ultimately might demonstrate how a nonprofit can manage risks associated with a celebrity benefactor, experts say. ›› More


Reputational risk can hurt a company just as much as or more than any other type of traditional risk, especially in a digital age where social media can spread news and rumors like wildfire. Howard Mills of Deloitte L.L.P. discussed how companies and their insurers can and should protect their reputations. ›› More



Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Assessing Reputational Risk

This article, written for the National Association of College and University Business Officers, discusses ways to manage reputational risks.


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has stiffened its supply chain sourcing standards to include a “zero tolerance policy” for violations. ›› More


The flip side of social media's value in advancing a company's brand is that the speed with which messages—mistaken or deliberately fraudulent—spread through social media can quickly put organizations' reputations at considerable risk. ›› More


Events leading to reputation damage can strike at any time from any direction. Kenneth Ramaley, managing director of Ramaley Group L.L.C., discusses how to identify scorecard metrics that will allow for preventive approaches to reputation risk management. ›› More