“Managing this new reputation is like solving a Rubik’s Cube. Every move is connected to another.”
To examine corporate reputation and its impact on communications, the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, in partnership with United Minds’ Myriant and Golin, conducted a survey of consumers, employees, investors and PR professionals. The research revealed that communicators have been making decisions based on preconceived notions; however solving this Rubik’s Cube requires them to more deeply understand the full range of stakeholders and how to incorporate their perspectives. Key takeaways:
- Do companies have a responsibility to play a role in addressing societal concerns? 9 out of 10 investors said “yes” compared to 6 out of 10 consumers and 7 out of 10 employees.
- A strong majority of consumers, employees, and investors expect companies to “have a mission and social purpose and to help address societal problems.”
- More investors are familiar with ESG than consumers and employees.
- 79% of investors are more likely to invest in a company they consider “woke.”
- Consumers, employees, and investors all rate “business performance” the most influential factor influencing their decisions to buy, work, or invest.
- Asked about the impact of social purpose on reputation, consumers, employees, and investors ranked “sustainability” and “commitment to causes” as their #1 or #2 choices.
Success at solving this Rubik’s Cube depends on finding alignment among stakeholder groups, relying on data instead of stereotypes, and valuing insights over instincts.