Ipsos Global Reputation Centre

The biggest issues currently facing Corporate Communicators

Cross-cutting:

"Appreciation of the CEO’s brand, how to handle that, and how that ties back to reputation."
"We have to put ourselves in the mindset of the CEO and the CFO more than we ever have done historically."
"You are engaging with people, seeing which arguments work, which arguments don’t; you have a sense of what is going on in the outside world, and what is acceptable today may not be regarded as acceptable behaviour in two years’ time. You need to talk to a lot of people and you need to listen – it is very important to listen. "

Brexit, Globalisation and Political Risk:

"Issues are becoming much, much more regional."
"Today it is even more important to focus on genuineness and transparency. This is not always easy for companies with complex business models, with partners and projects around the world. "

Purpose and CSR:

"What we noticed is that a lot of people are not looking for products or services, but they are looking to make investment, to buy in to a particular brand – it supports their lifestyle and aspirations."
"The commercialisation of CSR and sustainability is something which we haven’t cracked properly, really, and that is very, very important as well."

Employee Brand, Internal Communications, and Talent Acquisition:

"Employee engagement is increasingly moving up the agenda"
"Brand advocacy has been going on some time, how do you make your employees … brand defenders now?"

FRACTURED Media Environment:

"Jeff Bezos has a microphone in my living room — how do I feel about that?"
"We are disintermediating the business media because actually it is almost impossible to get their attention, unless it is for the wrong reasons."
"The emergence of a highly informed, engaged and active set of stakeholders who are now empowered by the digital revolution."
"The media landscape is changing colossally; everyone is becoming a communicator themselves."
"Another interesting challenge is how to combine the BTB communication and the BTC one: it is not easy to find a single ‘narrative’, since the needs and the requests of the different actors are different. "

Anti-Business Sentiment:

"There is absolutely zero appetite for positive stories about the role of business."
"We can clearly see that people are against companies making a real profit."
"Our shareholders want to hear how much money we have made… it is often quite a shameful thing to talk to people about the fact that we make €1 billion a quarter."
"That culture is going to fundamentally shift and what that means is in our sector we are going to get a lot more use of Bully Pulpits."

Methodology: 127 interviews conducted with Reputation Council members between April and August 2017.

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Unlocking the Value of Reputation: Full Report

THE DEFINITIVE LINK BETWEEN CORPORATE REPUTATION AND BETTER BUSINESS EFFICIENCY

Looking to make your company run more effectively and efficiently?

Management teams around the world face a variety of complex business situations daily. A great place to start boosting your business is by leveraging the power of your reputation.

Ipsos Global Reputation Centre research across 31 countries shows conclusive proof of the relationship between a good reputation and better business efficiency.

Our research explores:

BUILDING TRUST GIVES COMPANIES AN ADVANTAGE IN TELLING THEIR STORY IN TIMES OF CRISIS, MARKETING THEIR PRODUCTS EFFICIENTLY, AND TURNING STAKEHOLDERS INTO ADVOCATES.

Reputation and trust are powerful forces in business efficiency.

The social media landscape may be changing how people interact with companies. There may be regulatory issues impacting some sectors more than others. You may be doing business in a region that’s inherently more skeptical than the rest of the world.

But the bottom line remains the same: building trust builds reputation. And having a good reputation will result in better business efficiency.

Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.

Read more from 'Unlocking the Value of Reputation'...

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The link between trust, reputation and benefit of the doubt

BUILDING TRUST BUILDS REPUTATION. A GOOD REPUTATION BUILDS BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, AND ENSURES YOUR VOICE IS HEARD IN A CRISIS.

Trust matters. When you trust someone, you give them the benefit of the doubt. If that person gets in trouble, you will hear their side of the story before jumping to conclusions.

Companies seek to build the same benefit of the doubt among their stakeholders. Without a strong reputation, companies risk not having a receptive audience for their story when they need one the most.

Globally, people are generally willing to give companies the benefit of the doubt (24% definitely and 48% probably). This willingness to give the benefit of the doubt is tightly linked to overall trust.

Among people who trust a company a great deal, more than half (59%) say they would definitely give that company the benefit of the doubt in a crisis. Among people who are feel neutral toward a company, that percentage shrinks to just 10%.

How benefit of the doubt varies by industry

The imperative to build a strong reputation to get the benefit of the doubt is greatest in high risk sectors. However, EVERY company has risk and can obtain a competitive advantage by building a reputation that they can draw on in times of trouble.

At the industry level, technology companies are much more likely to get the benefit of the doubt than others. Highly regulated industries are viewed more skeptically.

Globally, technology and automotive companies have the strongest reputations and consequently the strongest benefit of the doubt.

Benefit of the doubt and trust are highly correlated. When companies build trust, they are building up benefit of the doubt.

The link between trust and benefit of the doubt are most tightly related at the ends of the spectrum - companies with the best reputation get the most benefit of the doubt, and least trusted companies generate very little benefit of the doubt. Companies in the middle (trust-wise), have more variance when it comes to getting the benefit of the doubt.

Airlines, telecommunications, and oil and gas companies have the greatest challenges.

How benefit of the doubt varies by region

Overall, Europeans are more skeptical of companies, while Latin Americans are more likely to give companies the benefit of the doubt.

Generally, a majority of people in every region say they would “probably” give companies the benefit of the doubt during times of crisis. This likelihood to extend the benefit of the doubt is why it is so important for companies to make sure they react appropriately to crises. An over-reaction due to a few hard-core skeptics can cause more harm than good. Companies need to remember that they generally have the benefit of the doubt and should therefore be forthcoming, rather than defensive.

Skeptical Europeans are a tougher audience than people from other parts of the world.

The impact of regulation on trust and benefit of the doubt

Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications companies face the greatest amount of regulatory risk, and have the lowest trust and benefit of the doubt scores. While risk is also high for insurance and banking, there is also some evidence of people feeling these industries are over-regulated.

The desire for regulation is highest in Europe and North America, and lowest in APAC.

Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.

Read more from 'Unlocking the Value of Reputation'...

Read more from the Ipsos Global Reputation Centre...