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Oct 30, 2020

Connected World Potentiates Reputational Impacts

Connection and Communication

Connection and Communication

The increasing speed of connections and capacity of smartphones is leading to more and more innovation, but also to greater awareness and concern about the social and environmental impact of brands, which are being asked to take more and more social responsibility.

In response to this demand, brands have sought to be dynamic and upfront. Take example McDonald'swhich, on YouTube - showed behind-the-scenes photos of its hamburgers in order to demonstrate why there was a difference between the photo in the ads and the real hamburger that was sold to the customer.

In this new environment of connection and communicationA similar reputational challenge requires new forms of management, protection and action. Let's remember, for example, two major environmental accidents.

In 1989 the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker, spilled the equivalent of between 275,000 and 750,000 barrels of oil into the sea off the coast of Alaska after a collision with submerged rocks tore the bottom out of the ship.

In 2010, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in US waters, was the biggest ever. Around 3.2 million barrels of oil escaped from the well in the gulf, which was left open when British oil company BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.

Both caused major environmental damage, but the BP accident caused greater damage to the company's reputation. The greater connectivity of the 2010s meant that within minutes of the accident, information was already circulating on social media. In 1989, the dissemination of news was slower. Despite the similarities between the environmental disasters, the difference in speed put BP in a more challenging and delicate situation than Exxon in terms of reputation.

The demand for social responsibility was also more pronounced and immediate in the case of BP. A day after the Deepwater Horizon accident, a Greenpeace ship was already in the Gulf of Mexico demanding that the company take responsibility for containing the spill.

In serious cases such as these, which can have a serious impact on a company's reputation, transparency and honesty are vital. However, caution is also required when acting, since damage to the reputation of a brand or an organization can have heavy economic effects and can take time to resolve, despite the ever-increasing speed of connections and information transmission.



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