Three in four comms heads say board sees financial impact of reputation

Almost three-quarters of senior in-house communicators have said that their board believes corporate reputation has a strong link with financial performance, according to research from YouGov.

Performance: Reputation has an impact on the bottom line
Performance: Reputation has an impact on the bottom line

YouGov partnered with the PRCA to interview leading in-house comms directors about the role and importance of reputation.

The survey, presented at the PRCA 2013 National Conference, found that 72% said their board saw a strong link between reputation and the bottom line.

According to the survey, 24% of boards believed there to be an extremely strong link between reputation and financial performances, while 48% believed there to be a reasonably strong link.

Just 6% believed there to be a reasonably weak link, while only 9% believed there to be no link at all.

The research also found that just over half (52%) of in-house comms directors/managers believed their board of directors took responsibility for the organisation’s reputation.

Almost a quarter (24%) said their board reviewed reputation performance but did not see itself as responsible, while 12% said the board took some interest and 6% very little to no interest.

In total 46 senior in-house communicators across the public and private sector including charities, membership organisations, financial services and technology sectors were surveyed.

The majority of organisations said they had some tools for reputation (such as sentiment analysis, stakeholder surveys or customer satisfaction), but most felt a key challenge remained to prove the impact of reputation, with most examples being  ‘anecdotal’ rather than using data.

The Economics of Reputation YouGov research will accompany the PRCA’s own The Future of the PR Agency report as the centre point for discussion at the PRCA’s National Conference in London today.

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