Komisarjevsky Partners

Who We Are

Komisarjevsky Partners 
is a public relations strategy and communication firm specializing in issues of corporate reputation ...  

It was more than a hundred years ago when Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis previewed the dramatic relationship that would escalate between corporations and the media on issues dealing with values, behavior, communication, and reputation.  In Chapter V of his 1914 book, Other People’s Money, Brandeis wrote:

"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.  Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants;  electric light the most efficient policeman."

Over the decades, the media in all its forms have had a profound influence on how businesses are perceived ... in essence, deciding where the 
sunlight and electric light are to be shined.  

From their historic origins as the “Fourth Estate,” the media today are no longer confined to the traditional but rather have an increasingly powerful impact on reputation through the very personal and instant social media connections made online with keyboards, touch tablets, and hand-held mobile digital devices that know no boundaries of time zones or geography ... fact or opinion. 

With a spotlight directly on reputation, rarely has there been more pressure than today for corporate transparency in both word and deed.

Nor has there been greater opportunity ... when and if business strategy and its implementation take into full account the power of reputation.

Simply put, reputation is at the center of success.  It is a key driver of business performance, sustained investor confidence, stakeholder support, talent excellence, enduring brands, customer loyalty, productive strategic partnerships, regulatory understanding, and a "second chance" when, inevitably, something goes wrong.  It is built on a foundation of values, behavior, and effective communication.

With reputation, there is a hierarchy.  At the top, are a corporation’s values and purpose.  From that flows all else.  And it is made real and proven on a consistent basis through strong principles of corporate governance and management’s resolve to enforce its values.

Reputation takes shape only over time.  And, if not shepherded and strengthened, can be fragile. Above all, trust is the most critical component of reputation.  In fact, all of us judge businesses, large and small, and respond to brands much the same way that we judge those people around us.  We look them in the eye, listen to what they say, notice what they don’t say, watch how they behave, and then we make our judgments.  Subconsciously, we ask ourselves:  Do we think they can be trusted?  Do we think they are reputable?  Do we think they will do what they say?

Retired Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said it best when speaking to the graduating class of Harvard at commencement in 1999:

“Trust is at the root of any economic system based on mutually beneficial exchange.  In virtually all transactions, we rely on the word of those with whom we do business. … If a significant number of business people violated the trust upon which our interactions are based, our court system and our economy would be swamped into immobility.”

Corporations, though, are essentially a collection of individuals whose actions – whose daily behavior – have an impact on reputation.  As Henry David Thoreau wrote in his 1849 essay, 
“Civil Disobedience”

“It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience, but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporate with a conscience.”

Reputation is both an asset and a risk management tool.  It is at the center of a commitment to transparency, one of the most important demands made of corporations and their leadership.

Reputation is an asset because it has exchange value.  Strong reputations lead to decisions by customers to buy, investors to invest, legislators and regulators to approve, employees to be loyal, and the media – online, social media and traditional media – to voice their support.

It is a risk management tool because it sets a standard for behavior and an expectation of decision-making.  Coupled with a corporate culture of enforcement, it sends a strong signal that certain behaviors will not be tolerated, thereby minimizing risk.

And, as we see too often, the toughest test of reputation is in moments of crisis when improper behavior is exposed, probing is the harshest, media scrutiny sheds the brightest light, and transparency is closely scrutinized.

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