chapter  5
20 Pages

Corporate Reputation and the News Media in Germany

BySABINE EINWILLER, GÜNTER BENTELE, CHRISTINE LANDMEIER

Interest in corporate reputation has grown in Germany since 2000 and it has been developed in the world of business and the news media as well as in academia. Ten years ago, Dunbar and Schwalbach noted that “[r]ecently … German managers have come to recognize corporate reputation as something that is distinct, signifi cant and important even though it remains an intangible asset” (2000, p. 115). Surveys show that this notion has stabilized. In a survey conducted in 2003 among members of management, marketing, and corporate communication in German companies, Wiedmann and Buxel (2005) found that two thirds of the respondents attached high or very high importance to reputation management, and three quarters of the respondents indicated that the achievement of reputation objectives was the direct responsibility of top management. A more recent study conducted in 2008 among the heads of communication of the 400 largest corporations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland revealed that reputation is considered one of the most important intangible assets of a fi rm. Furthermore, 88% of the survey participants expressed the opinion that corporate communication has a strong impact on a company’s reputation (Nix, Schnöring, & Siegert, 2009).