How to Conduct a Reputation Audit. A reputation audit is a service provided by many public relations firms that helps clients better understand their customers and critics. There are a few things that you need to include when you conduct a reputation audit, whether it's for a public company or a private individual.
Figure out the audience and customers of the business you will conduct the reputation audit for and see if there is a way to contact them. Ask if you can use the customer email list to send out a questionnaire to these people. Depending on the type of business, you may also be able to solicit feedback at the office or store.
Ask the company how it wants to be perceived by its customers. A large company may want to have a different reputation with various age and ethnic groups. Require the company or individual to give you information on how they believe they are currently regarded by clients.
Analyze the current public relations campaigns by the client to see if it is having the intended effect. Conduct this part of the audit during periods of the year when quarterly marketing and sales information is released so that you have current and accurate data to work with.
Inspect the client's online reputation by searching out forums, blogs and user groups. See if the client has addressed any of the issues brought up on the Internet with either product changes or feedback to the consumer. Ask to have access to the company's email network so that you can conduct an audit on the effectiveness of email campaigns by looking at things like the number of return-to-sender messages and spam markings.
Conduct an investigation inside the company to find out how employees view its reputation. Ensure the confidentiality of the workers and don't allow the employer to view the original forms in order to get unbiased opinions.
Submit your analysis of the client's reputation along with a list of ways that it can be managed. Specify which steps your company could take to help improve the reputation of the client and a time line for their effects.
The financial aspect of a reputation audit, including investor confidence and market ratings, is best left to another firm or internal department unless you have experience working with this information. Looking at past data can help you place the company's current reputation in some historical context, but it may not always be available.