Thursday, November 7, 2013

Basics of Image Audit

Basics of Image Audit by K Srinivasan
K Srinivasan
By K Srinivasan

Every organisation has a full-fledged mechanism to audit their finance, stocks, health of employees, etc. But least attention is paid by the Managements as to how their Internal and External publics perceive about their organisation. The sum total of the perception forms the Image of the Organisation. "Image Audit" is a tool to measure the perception level of various publics.


Perception is the mental impression formed by any individual on any organisation basing on his / her own experience. The sum total of the perception of various Internal and External publics form the Image of an Organisation.

The perception of the Internal publics (employees) indicate as to how the Management is being viewed by their own staff members.

The perception of the External publics like customers, suppliers, share holders, media, Government Authorities, etc is very important in projecting the image of the organisation


Normally the perception is the "mental impression" which every person used to hold to himself for various reasons. Unless this is brought out carefully, real Image of the Organisation cannot be measured. In the Image Audit, a set of questionnaire is prepared and administered to the audience and their feedback is taken anonymously. This would ensure free and fair revelations of their perception.

Normally, every individual is frank when he gives the opinion anonymously, in a group to any third person.


First the Management should identify the publics (whether employees, customers, suppliers, Media, share holders, etc.) from whom they would like to extract the perception. After identifying the target group, then the Management should finalise the areas where they would like to have the feedback. This is very essential because, the Image Audit would focus on selective areas. For example, if the employees are the target audience, the Management can focus on the handling of grievances, treatment given to them, etc. If the target group is customers, then customer satisfaction, availability of products to them, how the counter staff behaves with them, etc. can be taken for study.

After finalizing the target audience and the issues, then a set of questionnaire has to be developed. The questionnaire should be in two parts. The first part should contain the broad details of the respondent like Gender, Age, Occupation or year of service, etc. This may be decided basing on the project. Care is to be taken that the name, address and other finer identities of the respondent are not obtained.

In the second part, questions for the issues that are required to be analysed should be framed and the respondent may be given an option to choose one of the multiple choices of the answers.


The questionnaire should be administered to the targeted audience on a select day on random sampling basis. The sample size may be decided depending on the issue and other factors.

The administration may be done either personally or through post or onlinel. The analyst should also interact with few respondents and try to get the first hand information. This would help him later for finding solutions.


Analysis can be done basing on the requirement of the Management.  The data collected through this image audit is very large and will speak louder on various issues.  Interpretation of the data is very important.  This segment is the most important part of the Image Audit.  This needs more skills.


A detailed report may be prepared covering the Methodology, No. of responses received, Break up of responses gender wise, age wise, etc. The report should contain the detailed analysis of the responses received in quantity and in percentage. The report should contain the observations of the analyst combining all the responses. The analyst should also spell out various suggestions for the problems identified through Image Audit.


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