The Fraud Department is Not a Cost Center or “What are we paying them for?”

Within telecommunications service providers, fraud management professionals often walk a tightrope. On one hand, when a fraud management department effectively identifies and prevents fraudulent activities, a question may arise: “What are we paying them for?” 😕 On the other hand, when a major security incident occurs, the same question is posed. It’s a delicate balancing act. This article aims to serve as a valuable tool for Fraud Managers looking to elevate their department’s standing within their organization. For years, a crucial element has been missing from many Fraud Departments, and that missing piece is: Public Relations (PR)—the key to reshaping how other departments perceive fraud management, dispelling the notion that they are cost centers.

The Power of PR: Changing Perceptions 🔄

PR, while a powerful tool, has sometimes garnered a negative reputation due to a failure to capture the essence of genuine communication and understanding. To shift the perception of the Fraud Department from a Cost Center to a Profit Center, a strategic PR approach is vital.

Before launching a PR campaign, certain fundamental steps must be taken:

  1. View the Fraud Department as a Business Within a Business: To fundamentally shift perceptions, the Fraud Department should adopt the mindset that it operates as its own entity within the organization. Every business involves the exchange of valuables, and the Fraud Department possesses assets that can be exchanged with other departments. And those valuables include goodwill 🤝 and, of course, money 💰.
  2. Focus on Customer Acquisition and Retention: At its core, any business’s primary purpose is to acquire and retain customers. In the context of the Fraud Department, other departments within the company are your customers. Only when this principle is embraced can the department truly contribute to the organization’s prosperity, gaining both goodwill and financial security 📈.

With the right perspective in place – viewing the Fraud Department as a business, recognizing the value of customer relationships, and understanding that you are both a customer and a service provider – you can embark on your PR campaign.

PR: The Catalyst for Change 🔥

The initial step in a successful PR campaign is “positioning.” Positioning defines how something is perceived, setting it apart from its peers. For instance, considering a Fraud Department as a “cost center” is a positioning statement. Depending on the attitude of your department across the organization, there might be other positions held or, at worst, a lack of awareness regarding the department’s role.

In essence, “Cost Center” and “Profit Center” are both positions, both ideas. PR is a powerful tool that can effect change, transcending mere ideas into reality.

Rules for Effective PR Success: 🌟

  1. Identify Your Department’s Current Position: Understand how your department is currently perceived within the organization. Determine how others view your department’s role and contributions.
  2. Craft a New Position: Develop a new position that encompasses what you discovered in step one, ensuring it aligns with your department’s value and function.
  3. Focus on Obtaining the New Position: Concentrate on communicating this new position at every opportunity, leveraging various communication tools such as intranet websites, blog articles, training, reports, and emails.a. Evaluate the tools at your disposal for effectively conveying the new position.b. Launch your PR campaign, disseminating your message through your communication tools.c. Continuously assess your campaign’s impact and be prepared to adjust your strategy as needed.

Your department’s position and purpose should align closely. For example, a Fraud Department could position itself as the team responsible for driving fraudsters out of business, leading to increased company profits. Such a purpose and position would be challenging for anyone to object to. The key is to communicate your position and purpose in a way that resonates with and is embraced by your stakeholders.

Fraud Departments are not mere cost centers; they are strategic assets 👥🛡️. By using PR to shift the perception from cost centers to profit centers, your department can create a more favorable understanding within the organization. This not only benefits the Fraud Department itself but also contributes to the company’s overall success and security 🔒.

🔗 📣 Ready to secure your telecom business? Contact our team of experts today.