Half of senior corporate communicators interviewed said they found demonstrating the worth of reputation management problematic. The challenge was greater in Europe, where almost three in five (57%) agreed that proving the benefit and value was difficult.
A significant number of those interviewed feared shrinking budgets, with two in five (40%) believing that their department might be vulnerable to cuts.
Milorad Ajder, head of the Reputation Centre, said: ‘The paradox about reputation still exists. Top executives continually extol the importance of company reputation but send mixed signals to the very people appointed to monitor and manage it.
‘CEOs need to ask themselves whether they are really serious about making the most of what many call their most important intangible asset and are willing to trust and empower the people they have appointed to help them do the job.’
The survey also showed that opinion among heads of comms was split on whether criticism on social media channels was taken too seriously.
The majority (82%) believed discussions in social media channels could indeed impact on a company’s overall reputation, but opinions were divided on the degree to which attention should be paid to criticism.
Forty per cent agreed criticism in social media channels was taken too seriously and 46% disagreed. Council members indicated that they were starting to view social media similarly to any other comms channel.