November is a dedicated Measurement Month for communication professionals. It is celebrated by the Public Relations Institute of South Africa and the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.

Reputation Matters's vision is to be Africa's reputation research company of choice and to build sustainable businesses. It believes that stakeholder research is invaluable for effective corporate communication for several reasons.

Over the years, the brand has seen the positive contribution and impact that reputation research has had — not only within the communication field but also corporate affairs and human resources. The whole business needs to be singing from the same reputation hymn sheet to build a strong and positive reputation.

Here are 14 reasons why to look into reputation research:

1. You will have bragging rights

With a high reputation score, an organisation shows the world that they are a reputable company. People and businesses want to do business with companies that have a good reputation and that they trust.

2. A positive reputation impacts your bottom line 

People are more likely to spend their hard-earned cash on a reputable product or service and be associated with a reputable brand.

3. It will reduce risk

Research will proactively help you to identify gaps and risks within your business, helping you to avoid — or at least better manage and plan — for crisis situations.

4. You will build closer relationships with your stakeholders

Measuring the relationship between you and your stakeholders will help you to build even better relationships with them. The research will give you insights on where you can improve and where there are opportunities for stronger ties.

5. The research will save you time

There is often so much that needs to be done within a business — especially when it comes to managing stakeholders. Deciding where to start can often get quite overwhelming. Research will help you to determine what the priority areas that you need to focus on are.

6. It will ensure a seat around the boardroom table

As communication specialists, measurable numbers and metrics that provide strategic direction will help you to speak the language of the C-Suite. This will provide opportunities that may not have otherwise been available. 

7. The research will build a solid foundation

Companies can do fancy marketing and public relations, spend a boatload of money on advertising, SEO or the website and do a lot of good community work. But if your basic reputation building blocks are not in place, you will be wasting a lot of time and money.

8. Your communication will be more targeted

The research results will help to pin-point priority areas to manage, confirm the key messages to communicate about and identify the channels of communication that will be the most effective.

9. You will be able to communicate consistently

A company is either consistently good or consistently bad; either way, they are building a reputation. Research will help identify blind spots.

10. Research will show you how to make employees fans of the brand  

Employees are key brand ambassadors for the organisation. Understanding how they feel about the business will be telling of what family and friends also think of the business.

11. It can help build on your true value offering

Would everyone in the organisation describe it in the same eight words? Research helps to find ways of aligning everyone to the same purpose.

12. Research saves you money 

Research can save an organisation money in the long run by guiding the communication strategy and plan in the right areas of the business, which makes it more effective. It also helps to enhance key stakeholder relations and leads to business growth.

13. It shows where you can invest into the community

An organisation can contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation. It can trains up members from the community with computer skills, for example, and teach them how to capture data and build websites for entrepreneurs.

14. Research could be free!

At Reputation Matters, customers will receive 10% off their next research project for every company that they refer to Reputation Matters, who in turn sign up for their own research study. Referring ten projects results in a free research project. 

You tend to keep track of things that are important to you. Why not measure your reputation too?

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