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Boeing: The alva Reputation Case Study

The term “reputation crisis” is an overly-used and oft-misunderstood characterisation of a negative event that has befallen an organisation.




The hyperbolisation of media and social media reporting means that many a company which faces a one-off reputational risk issue, may find themselves on the receiving end of depictions of them being “in crisis” on a particular matter, which can unhelpfully feed a self-fulfilling media narrative.

In truth, on most occasions, companies are simply doing their best to deal with issues as they arise and with the right combination of intelligence and experience, they are able to deal with the immediate aftermath, put out the fires and get on with the real job of rebuilding relationships with affected stakeholders while learning the lessons from the issue.

But what about the outliers, the genuine reputation crises? What separates these from the common-orgarden reputation risks and how do we know when we have arrived at this point?  Furthermore, is there actual value in this knowledge or are we already past the point of no return?

This month’s alva Reputation Case Study looks at the issues that Boeing has experienced over the past three years to draw a clear quantitative differentiation between a risk and a crisis. The intention is to help organisations better understand where they sit on this spectrum, when internally it may feel like every negative issue is a crisis and develop response strategies accordingly.