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New book lays out framework for protecting corporate reputations by David Millward

Cover of  by Jennifer Janson

Businesswoman Jennifer Janson has set a framework for business leaders who want to take control of their corporate reputation in her new book, The Reputation Playbook.

A company's reputation is under constant threat with the dramatic rise of social media, but one PR woman believes she has come up with a winning formula to help bosses protect it.

Everyone now has the ability to become a critic with devastating speed through the use of internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor.

But businesswoman Jennifer Janson has set a framework for business leaders who want to take control of their corporate reputation in her new book, The Reputation Playbook.

Ms Janson, owner and MD of Six Degrees agency in Forbury Square, Central Reading, said she decided to write the book for two reasons.

She said; ?Firstly, I was finding senior communications people who understood the impact of social media weren?t getting buy-in from their own business and, secondly, we were getting quite a lot of CEOs who would say they have social media under control because they?ve got an intern managing their Twitter feed.?

Ms Janson said the book is not a guide about how to use social media, but looks at the role social media plays in reputation-building, approaches businesses may take and acknowledging it may not be right for every business.

She said: ?I think every business would get something out of reading it. I would say reputation management has never been so important.?

The book has been 18 months in the making and received a local launch at The Forbury Hotel for clients in the area and an official launch at The Club at The Ivy, in the West End.

Ms Janson said: ?It was hugely daunting when I started writing the book, but I actually said in my acknowledgements that it has helped me fall in love with my industry again through the process of researching and interviewing CEOs about reputation management.

?It was fun but it was very, very difficult because I was running the business at the same time.?

Canadian Ms Janson came over to the UK in 1997 from working in one of the USA?s biggest agencies, in New York.

She said: ?I was a bit naive. I thought because we spoke the same language the UK was the easiest place to go to. But I found this small company which agreed to sponsor me.?

Ms Janson completed a management buyout of the firm with her co-director Mark James in 2008 and moved the office to Reading two years ago.

She said: ?It?s a fantastic base for the business. We love the quick connection to Paddington and we are surrounded by the types of businesses we serve.?

Six Degrees specialises in the fields of science, technology and engineering and Ms Janson has overseen successful campaigns for Skype, Ericsson, Fidelity Growth Partners Europe and Vodafone.

She said: ?Many of our clients have been with us for 10 years or more and we know as much about their business as they do.?

About 60 per cent of business comes from outside the UK, which is helped by the firm?s membership of the Eurocom Worldwide PR network.

The company has Ms Janson?s full attention now she had finished her first book and she is not yet making any commitments about another one.

She said: ?It?s too early to say, I think it?s like when you have a baby. The pain is still there at the moment but I wouldn?t rule it out.?

The Reputation Playbook is published by Harriman House, priced £19.99.

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