Issue: Communicating with stakeholders
PricewaterhouseCoopers reckons it is the first professional services firm
to set up a dedicated web site to show how it’s performing, and to allow
stakeholders to tell it what it’s doing right - and wrong.
The site was launched in May this year and is introduced by Kieran
Poynter, a UK senior partner, who explains that the site was set up in
response to a greater need for businesses to demonstrate their
responsibilities outside of traditional financial reporting.
Many of PwC’s clients are companies that are becoming increasingly aware
of the need to measure and benchmark the influence and opinion of
stakeholders - be they employees or people in the community. The
pwctalking web site intends to set an example of how a company can have a
dialogue with stakeholders.
The site aims to ’explore and understand the relationship the firm has
with its diverse set of stakeholders’. These fall into three main
categories: ’clients’, ’people’ and ’community’.
At the top of the introduction page there are three main sections - ’Our
firm’, ’Our approach’ and ’Our impact’. ’Our firm’ sets out the company’s
areas of expertise and its commitment to values. The structural review
that PwC has undergone since the merger in 1998 is discussed in some
The section also discusses the company’s strategic imperatives.
In the ’Our impact’ area of the site the results of customer surveys are
displayed. The blurb explains that it is no longer appropriate to rely on
anecdotal comment and so PwC conducts face-to-face and postal surveys to
find out their clients’ views. The various service-sectors are each given
a pie-chart indicating client satisfaction. One of the charts reveals that
26.8 per cent of clients found that the service PwC offers ’exceeded
expectations’ whereas 3.5 per cent found that expectations were not met.
’Our impact’ also contains sections on employees, the community and the
environment. The latter explains PwC’s policy with regard to issues such
as emissions and recycling.
There is a ’Give us your view’ section, enabling the user to send their
comments or ask a question of the company. PwC has a dedicated team set up
to respond to comments and queries. When a comment, question or criticism
is received PwC will contact the relevant person in its organisation who
can respond with a comment on the issue.
The web site is easily navigated and is not cluttered with graphics.
Jon Bunn, PwC’s UK head of media relations, says that the site aims to
bring greater transparency to the company.