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Beware of your reputation in a recession


February 18, 2009
By AGC Communications

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Feb. 18, 2009 – AGC Communications, the Montreal-based reputation management
agency, offers its five commandments for organizations looking to reinforce
and protect their reputation in the face of an economic recession.



Ahmed Galipeau, APR, president of AGC Communications and a
25-year veteran in the reputation management field, states: "It is
essential for all organizations to stay present in the minds of their
respective publics and community of interest, especially during a
recession."

Many studies have shown that companies with a sound reputation,
that defend it vigorously through thick and thin, are the ones that survive
through difficult times and better the fate of their clients, administrators
and employees.

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The five AGC commandments to help raise profit levels and
beat the depressed climate during a recession are:

1. Help your clients! The recession will render your
client's life difficult. Visit them. Call them. Offer them your support. Ask
them how you can help them. You will be amazed at the number of suggestions
they will give you that you can follow-up on. Your clients will remember that
you were side-by-side with them during rough times.

2. Give your employees more responsibilities! The difficult
economic times will cause additional stress to your employees. Now is the time
to give them extra responsibilities so they can better serve and answer the
needs of your clients. The more they feel responsible in regards to clients,
the more they will invest the extra efforts to satisfy and build customer
loyalty. Do not forget how good your employees can be as ambassadors when they
feel supported and appreciated. Also, take the opportunity to thank them more
often- it's a win-win that reinforces your reputation.

3. Solidify your links with suppliers! An economic slowdown
is the best time to solidify your links with suppliers and business partners.
Visit their installations, ask them how they intend to confront the crisis,
explore avenues together on how to better collaborate on reducing costs and
improving products and services to your clients. Organizations that perform
well have all managed to create tight links with their suppliers. Everyone wins
in efficiency and prosperity–your reputation also.

4. Woo your shareholders! The recent debacle of the
financial markets left shareholders stunned. Don't waste any time, communicate
with them. Let them know what your plans are in order to make it through the
difficult times of the upcoming quarters. Tell them what you intend to do for
your clients, partners, suppliers and employees. The best defense is total
transparency in regards to reputation management. In keeping an open
communication line with shareholders, you will be securing their trust and
their support. An informed shareholder attracts another, which solidifies your
reputation.

5. Recruit the best collaborators! A recession can be the
best time to recruit the best available resources on the market. Even if you
have no openings, hundreds of competent women and men will be looking for work
in the coming months. Many of them will not wait and are already looking for a performing
employer, an organization with a reliable reputation. So, recruit! Meet
potential candidates. Promote the culture and the advantages of your company.
Share with them the aspects that you wish to improve in the near future. Who
knows? Some may already be experts in these fields. You will make a good
impression and will reinforce the reputation of your organization. You will be
surprised by the level of interest, and many qualified and high level candidates
will be ready when you get to the hiring process.

AGC Communications (www.agccom.com) is a consulting firm
specializing in reputation management, public relations, communication and
graphic design. Since its foundation in 1999, the experts at AGC have
successfully advised hundreds of company leaders and organizations of all sizes
in regards to growing their business, asserting the dynamism of their brands,
making their messages heard and the effective management of their reputation.
Based in Montreal, AGC is certified A +, and is a member of the Alliance des
cabinets de relations publiques du Québec.