Thursday, May 16, 2013

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MADE SIMPLE Part 3 : SEX SCANDALS REPUTATION RISK and the MEDIA SHY NAVY - SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN IN PUBLIC RELATIONS


REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MADE SIMPLE
Part 3

Continued from: 
Reputation Management Part 1 – You and Your Reputation
and
Reputation Management Part 2 – Reputation Management and Trust Deficit (An Apocryphal Story of Wife Swapping and Reputation Damage)


REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MADE SIMPLE
Part 3

SEX SCANDALS REPUTATION RISK and the MEDIA SHY NAVY
SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Last night, I watched with interest, on a leading TV news channel, a debate on the alleged navy sex scandals which are being reported and discussed in the media.

I was amazed to hear the astounding allegations of sexual misconduct in the navy.

The allegations seemed quite specific in nature which gave them a ring of credibility.

The two retired officers who were taking part in the debate appeared to be totally clueless about the case under discussion.

They were giving vague unconvincing answers to the allegations which were specific and lucid in nature.

Owing to their lack of precise information pertaining to the Navy Sex Scandals under discussion, the two retired officers looked quite perplexed and unprepared.

They were unable to give satisfactory replies to the allegations and kept on uttering platitudes and vague generalities.

To make matters worse, they could not give convincing answers to the questions raised by the anchor at the end of the debate.

Due to this muddled state of affairs, after viewing this debate, it would be no surprise if a viewer gets the impression that something is rotten in the navy and that the navy is attempting a cover up by trying to brush things under the carpet.
 
The navy has a large number of “stakeholders”.

There are “internal” stakeholders like those serving in the navy and their families and “external” stakeholders like those connected with and interested in the navy.

In fact, the navy belongs to the people and each and every citizen of the country is a “stakeholder” in the navy. 

The common citizens see the defence services as the last bastion of ethics, morality, fair play, integrity and discipline.

The public is proud of their defence forces.

If the reputation of the defence services is tarnished, the public feels disappointed and demoralized. 

I feel very sad that the good image of the navy is being tarnished due to such controversies, and undeservedly so, mainly because of inadequate public relations effort.

“Media Shyness” is not helping the navy’s image.

It is baffling as to why Navy Public Relation Officers (PRO) are reluctant to appear before the media to tell the navy’s side of the story, discuss the navy’s point of view and present the true facts of these alleged navy sex scandals before the public.

Due to the woeful lack of navy public relations effort, people are hearing only one side of the story.

In the absence of any other credible version, people have no choice but to start believing what is presented to them.

Total silence on the part of the navy is creating a widening information gap.

Such information gaps create a scope for confusion, speculation and rumours which can damage the reputation of the navy.

It is high time that Navy PR stops running away from the media and takes positive steps to restore the good reputation of the navy in the eyes of all stakeholders.

As far as the current alleged navy sex scandals are concerned, in order to repair the damage done to the good image of the navy by such controversies, there is an urgent need for Navy PROs to interact with the media, appear on TV and, if necessary, take part in debates and discussions and effectively communicate the authentic facts in a credible manner.

Responsive Public Relations are imperative to enhance the image, morale and prestige of the Navy.

In conclusion, here is quote, maybe apocryphal, made by the late General K Sundarji, a distinguished former Army Chief, at a media seminar at Delhi:

“When commanders fail to respond to the media, the field is left open to the critics of the armed forces, then speculation and misleading stories abound”


To be continued in Part 4 … 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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