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I liked an article by Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times. Called  “Shiny, Happy Bankers” she writes of how the web sites of some investment banks hardly reflect their true state of affairs. They continue to radiate a healthy optimism which may be quite unfounded.

This prompts me  to write of the importance of a corporate image. These days it is your website – and not your address- that is the first thing anyone will look for. Keeping it updated becomes that much more important. We talk of Corporate Social Responsibility. Shouldn’t this too be a part of CSR?

Years ago we felt that a certain dress code added to the respect and image of your organisation. At the bank to deposit a cheque, I would have hesitated if my bank manger walked up to me in a t-shirt, shorts and a straw hat. I would have wondered if my cheque would end up funding his seemingly imminent vacation. Recent events have shown that even the most nattily dressed investment bankers have not done what they promised to do and for which they were paid big bucks- look after your hard earned money.

In another example of corporate image, organisations have recorded messages which you cannot avoid when you call them up. They invariably speak of how great that organisation is, how large and how effective etc. The designers of the image do not seem to take into account that callers can be- and often are- dissatisfied customers. For the irate customer, who has a complaint or has been driven from pillar to post within that organisation, this can be doubly infuriating.

Being sensitive to the picture we portray to the external world is, to me, the essence of a corporate image.

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This is Post No: 301 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.