Retailers forge ahead on global comms while energy sector lags behind

The retail sector leads the way when it comes to good comms, a new global study has found.

Marks & Spencer: Launched Plan A in 2007
Marks & Spencer: Launched Plan A in 2007

Asked to rank which sectors communicated best, the majority of more than 6,000 members of the public spanning Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, UAE, UK and the US opted for retail while placing the energy sector bottom of the list.  

MHP’s new Effective Communications Index showed the trend was reflected in the UK, where 26 per cent of UK respondents said the energy sector was the worst at communicating, with the financial sector following closely with 21 per cent of the vote. 

Meanwhile, 18 per cent opted for transport, 17 per cent for healthcare and 13 per cent food and drink manufacturing, with just five per cent picking the retail sector as worst. 

However, this pattern was bucked in the US and Germany, where transport companies fared worst, and Brazil, where healthcare was bottom. 

MHP CEO Gavin Devine pointed to reputational gains made across the retail sector:

"Retail has done a lot to improve its reputation as a good employer, both by offering the flexibility that people want and providing training and support. 

"More than that, though, is the sense that that some of the higher profile retailers have done a great job in being transparent, and opening up when it comes to their supply chains."

Referencing Tesco, which recently revealed its food waste figures, and Marks & Spencer’s Plan A sustainability drive, he added: 

"In a sense these big names have transcended the idea of CSR, in that the work is being seen as a core part of their business and proposition.

"Sometimes you have to accept that the public zeitgeist is against you, as with financial services in the past few years, but the lesson for other sectors is to consistently communicate in a positive way."

The survey also revealed that overall 85 per cent believed that being open and transparent was the most important factor in delivering effective comms, a figure that was even higher in the UK, where 88 per cent stated it was important or very important reputationally. 

The next most important factors globally were having a reputation as a good employer (75 per cent); strong connections with the community (69 per cent); strong visible leadership (66 per cent); a powerful brand (51 per cent), and social media presence (39 per cent.)

When asked to pick the top three priorities for companies responding to a crisis, 58 per cent opted for a quick response as one of their answers, with the same percentage pointing to forming plans to avoid repeating the mistake as equally crucial. 

Meanwhile, an apology in a crisis situation was deemed more important in the UK than any other country polled, with 28 per cent placing it in their top three priorities, compared with 21 per cent globally.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.