Reputation is everything

Lately it seems reputation management issues in Australia are occupying centre stage.

First it was seafood giant Kaillis Brothers (see following article). Now, one of Australia’s most revered and respected organisations is in the spotlight – for all the wrong reasons.

The Returned Services League, or #RSL, has been assisting Military Veterans since 1916.

However, financial questions are being asked by the national broadcaster (more on that later) about it’s operations.

In early October the deputy president of the RSL asked the organisation’s federal president Rod White to stand aside, following allegations of money earned as a consultant while he was a board member (LINK).

Today, the NSW arm of the RSL is being accused of hoarding ,millions, which could be used to assist #Veterans (LINK).

An investigation is underway into the first claim. However, this latest allegation is yet to be acted on.

This is tremendous problem for an organisation as old and trusted as the RSL, which has built it reputation on Australia’s war history and military. There are few organisations that would come close to having such community respect. It is the guardian of the word ANZAC.

However, blind Freddy can see these two issues (strangely following closely from each other, both revealed by the ABC) have the potential to cause tremendous harm to the RSL.

Certainly it seems there could be something unseen at play, as both stories were “broken” by the ABC. Anyone wanting to achieve maximum impact on a national organisation would use the national broadcaster. After all, these issues seems confined to the NSW branch of the RSL. I don’t see the need to embroil other States, whose operations vary markedly from NSW.

Those State branches of the RSL would be well advised to make themselves aware of the situation and prepare contingency statements so their operations are not affected.

As they say in the Classics: “All will be revealed”.

ARTICLE 2: Kaillis has much to lose from its namesake

I’m not sure Kailis Bros keeping the name for its local restaurants is a good idea.

Kailis sold the wholesale arm of its seafood business to a Chinese company. That arm is still called Kailis.

Trouble is it’s been receiving bad publicity for incorrectly labelling its products.

When it comes to food, Australians don’t like to be lied to. With brand integrity so vital these days, the negative impact of the wholesale seafood company on Kaillis’s seafood restaurants (Fremantle, Leederville and Trigg) could be immense.

The other PR outcome from the most recent episode (reported in local media on the weekend) was the poor response from Kaillis (wholesale) about the dodgy labelling and an alleged incident of food poisoning.

A company spokesman said “there was some ambiguity” over the labelling.

I’ll bet there was, with companies skating as close as they can to the labelling laws (to infer an imported product is home-grown).

For the local Kailis operation, perhaps a name change might be best, given that the practices of many overseas operations seem to be always doubtful.

No company can sustain ongoing reputational damage like this; especially when the offender has the same name!

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