Short Gain, Long Value

Winning a fight is nice.Winning the war is better.

Winning a fight is nice.
Winning the war is better.

Mutual fund guru John Bogle leaves no doubt where he stands — in the same spot as investor Warren Buffett: Chasing short-term gain is a fool’s errand. Capturing intrinsic value is the real prize. In Reputation Management, the calculus differs only slightly. You can’t ignore the crisis that’s staring you in the face. That would be foolhardy. You must deal with it in the moment. But you must never take your eyes off the horizon. Are the tone and the message right for the long term? How will the public perceive your client next week, next month, next year? The rule is straightforward: Winning a fight is nice. Winning the war is better. Some clients get it instinctively. Others must be guided. Business executives are a good example. Those who quickly grasp the dynamics of guarding a reputation are the same who embrace the concepts that former Intel CEO Andy Grove identified in his book Only the Paranoid Survive: Beating the competition with one product or for one season is temporary. You must always be alert for “inflection points” — forces beyond your control that will reshape your industry. If you recognize and anticipate them, you will profit. If you don’t, you will stumble and lose. The best executives and Crisis PR people have no tolerance for wasting time. They think fast, decide fast, act fast. In one case, a complex Reputation Management concept was being laid out for a CEO. Thirty seconds into what was to be a 3-minute presentation, he waved to halt. “I see where you’re going. Do it. Anything else?” Such abruptness is both chastening and reassuring. (It can be daunting to those unaccustomed to fast minds, but it means you have the client’s confidence.) However, a caveat lurks not far below the surface: Make no mistakes. If any slip-up occurs in executing your plan, that confidence will quickly evaporate. —– “Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset” Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives. You can reach Roger Gillott and Eden Gillott Bowe directly at 310-396-8696. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog, Insights on High-Stakes PR. For a deeper glimpse into our world, see our book on Amazon, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR: Protecting Your Clients In & From the Media.” Photo courtesy of


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