Behind the Headlines With Greg Jawski
Greg Jawski, senior vice president in the reputation management practice of Porter Novelli, believes a well-thought out plan is key to weathering crises and protecting your reputation. In this interview, he discusses how brands can maintain a strong reputation, why content is no longer king and where integrated communication is headed.
What are you most excited about in your new role as senior vice president in the reputation management practice of Porter Novelli?
I am really excited about our point of view on reputation management. Today’s news environment is so dynamic and omnipresent that companies really need to rethink their approach to communicating their story.
While we excel at traditional areas of corporate communication, the most exciting part is the ability to effect real change in business practices and help guide firms from all sectors and life stages in a new age of communication.
What are some of the biggest challenges brands face in terms of reputation management?
I think the biggest challenge is the realization that reputation needs to be managed and cultivated proactively. Too frequently we see companies with strong reputations take severe reputational hits because they don’t think they’ll ever face a challenge.
Unfortunately, today anyone with a smartphone can be an influencer and wield varying degrees of influence, which can cascade quickly into crisis and brand damage.
What are some of the key components of a successful reputation management strategy?
The keys to successful reputation management include well-thought through scenario planning, authentic efforts with cause-related marketing, transparency into the business and an open dialogue with employee and customers.
How has PR changed over the years? What are brands doing differently today that they didn’t do in the past?
Wow, what hasn’t changed! Today the marriage of media and content is vitally important to be effective. A few years back, people married themselves to this idea that “content is king” and just started pushing content out with no real focus on linkage and consumption.
The most effective brands are starting to acknowledge that consumers are seeking out content in the ways they like to consume it, so it’s important to provide valuable content in the right places and have great media to create a surround sound effect.
How do you envision the future of PR?
I envision an evolution where the term “integrated communication” takes on a truer meaning and PR folks assume a greater understanding of the value of the broader communication mix.
To be truly effective, creativity is going to need to spike and traditional PR tactics are going to need to be augmented with ideas from marketing and advertising.
What is the biggest lesson about PR you’ve learned throughout your career?
The importance of always re-inventing yourself, campaigns and relationships.
What advice do you have for those looking to begin a career in PR?
Come into it open-minded, try different practice areas and work on as many different accounts as you can. Come to work with an eagerness and passion for learning every day. PR will make you an expert in areas you never thought you would know a thing about!
Rapid Fire Round
1. My daily newspaper of choice is… the Wall Street Journal.
2. If I won the lottery, I’d…be off the grid.
3. My dream vacation is…Maldives.
4. My biggest pet peeve is…laziness.
5. The thing that gets me up in the morning is…working with passionate people and the ability to effect change.
6. My favorite social media platform is…Instagram.
Image via Greg Jawski
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