Minimizing Your Reputational Risk: The Quadruple Bottom Line

Today’s post discusses methods for easing reputational risk. It’s part of the continuing series of excerpts from the position paper “Beyond the Bottom Line: 20 Ways to Reduce Reputational Risk.” Download the entire paper where you can also take a look at the 20 reputational risk scenarios capable of helping you cope with a variety of situations.


We know, at least broadly, what reputational risk is. And we know it is notoriously difficult to measure.

Each of the 20 case studies includes a link to at least one resource designed to help you should you confront that type of situation. Most are available online at

What other steps can help you lessen your risk? Inoculate your organization by broadcasting positive news regularly via a variety of channels. Traditional outlets like print and broadcast media, and speeches by your executives qualify. So, too, will outreach on new media tools such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Flooding the market with your good works will help not only to burnish your overall image; it will also cause the news you want aired to show up higher in search engine rankings.

British management cFouronsultant John Elkington suggests that companies consider three bottom lines: financial, environmental, and social performance. All are unquestionably important facets of any business. Yet it seems incomplete.

Thus, I recommend making “Reputation” part of a new construct, the “Quadruple Bottom Line,” if you will (with proper credit to Elkington for building upon his original concept).

One supplement to these recommendations, and one more step in implementing a Quadruple Bottom Line: It is worth reiterating that dealing effectively with reputational risk involves not only preparing for potential crises, but also assessing performance once your reputational crisis subsides. That after action review is a mandatory component.

What do you think? Can the Quadruple Bottom Line become a useful measurement tool?


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