Protecting the Corporate Image

The headline was shocking. It read “NDLEA arrests flight crew member over cocaine”. The first thought that came into my mind was whoa! Hold it! How did this happen? Which airline employed this crewmember? I discovered that the culprit is an employee of Virgin Atlantic. After reading the story, I came to the conclusion that “We all have a corporate image, but few work to protect and project it”. According to nutritionists, it is said, “you are what you eat”.
As a corporate entity, you are what people think you are.

According to the Opinion Research Corporation, corporate image is what sells a company and its’prodcuts or services. Corporate image is defined as the perceived sum of the entire organization, its objectives and plans. Many firms focus little attention on their corporate image until it has been severely damaged (as in the case of Virgin Atlantic).

According to A.C. Nielson, thirty brands that are currently leaders in their respective categories will lose their positions in less than two years. This is attributable to the following factors that determine a firm’s image;

· Influences on image.

· Launching an Image.

· Image Audiences.

· Reaching Audiences

· Plan of Action.

It is important that firms apart from projecting an image to their stakeholders such as shareholders, corporate society, social communities and political circles, also have a responsibility to inculcate this project into the hearts and minds of its’ employees. It is important that employees understand that their skills, attitudes and dedication are a large part of what makes up the company’s image and helps ensure the firm’s success. An undesirable corporate identity is a lot like obesity. It takes a long time to develop the symptoms, and it will probably take just as long, if not longer to achieve significant improvement. It is a multifaceted activity that includes everyone in the organization.

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