Driving reputation change through communication
Bord na Móna was on a journey to transform itself to a commercial company with a €450 million turnover, that just happens to be owned by the state. The company’s reputation had been strong back in 2011/12, but had trended downwards after this. People knew about their traditional products – peat, briquettes and fuel - but had no knowledge of the other parts of their business - renewable energy and resource recovery, horticulture and biomass. Levels of trust, admiration and respect were declining and that was a problem as it made life more difficult to us to get support with planning permissions for wind and solar farms, expanding into new business areas, recruiting the best talent and securing the license to operate from their stakeholders.
First, we defined the reputation landscape - the stakeholders needed to support business goals, how the organisation was perceived, people’s expectations, and the touchpoints they should communicate with. A Reputation Council was formed and, using the RepTrak® research and leveraging internal knowledge through cross functional workshops, a core purpose and story was redefined. With the RepTrak® data and a rigorous and systematic approach that the engineering driven organisation could align with, a new Identity and Brand Position was created, Naturally Driven. Stakeholder engagement campaign via Family Days, seminars and local community events, backed up by radio, press and online, told the story of Bord na Móna’s sustainable journey in a credible, meaningful way. Tracking reputation monthly allowed us to pinpoint activities which had the biggest positive impact.
Internally people were more aligned. They understood what actions to take to build reputation. Bord na Móna is seen in a new light and has moved from a declining reputation to a consistently strong reputation. Support has increased across every parameter, and those who are touched with the organisation’s communications are showing significant reputational growth.