NEW YORK: Preparing to launch their reputation measurement tool, Fortune magazine and Roper Starch World- wide found some powerful allies last week when PR giants Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum agreed to use it.
NEW YORK: Preparing to launch their reputation measurement tool,
Fortune magazine and Roper Starch World- wide found some powerful allies
last week when PR giants Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum agreed to use
The Fortune/Roper corporate reputation index will combine Fortune
magazine’s well-known but oft-criticized ’Most Admired’ survey with a
consumer element to provide what Fortune boasts is ’the most powerful
reputation management tool ever offered.’ Building on the survey of
10,000 executives, directors and analysts that forms the backbone of the
’Most Admired’ ranking, Roper has added a mail survey of 17,000 American
The methodology is similar to Fortune’s - ranking companies on eight
criteria - but Roper has tinkered with the questions to lessen the
financial emphasis. For example, instead of asking if a company makes
wise use of its assets, it asks people to rate its honesty with the
’Conceptually it’s the same, but we modified the eight attributes to
some degree because they were not relevant to the general public,’ said
Roper SVP Brad Fay.
’Do consumers know much about financial soundness? Maybe not,’ added
Anna Gold, Fortune’s manager of new business ventures. ’But they do know
if it is a good place to work. We get to the same information in a way
they can understand.’
But NYU professor Charles Fombrun, whose Reputation Quotient launched
last year, claims that the Fortune/ Roper index does little more than
slap consumer opinion onto an already flawed survey: ’This is hardly a
revolutionary step forward in reputation management.’
Ketchum and Burson seem to think it is, however, and they have already
agreed to use the tool. While Burson’s chief knowledge officer Leslie
Gaines-Ross was unavailable for comment, a statement from the firm
confirmed that it has signed on. Ketchum CEO Dave Drobis could not be
reached by press time.
Fay said that other leading PR agencies are ’seriously considering it,’
and that the tool has attracted interest from over 100 corporations.
The pricing scheme is as follows: dollars 190,000 for the en-tire data
set, which includes every company Fortune tracks; dollars 60,000 for an
industry group ; and dollars 35,000 for a subset of an industry, such as
A portion of Roper’s consumer element is so-called ’influential
Americans,’ which Fay described as ’adults who are politically and
socially active in their communities.’ Roper has been working on a
corporate reputation tool for the past 18 months, but only hooked up
with Fortune last fall (PRWeek, November 8, 1999).
FORTUNE AND RQ: HOW DO THEY STACK UP?
Reputation Quotient: Harris Interactive interviewed 3,000 people, who
nominated companies with the best and worst reputations. Then, 10,830
people were surveyed to rate the 30 companies that rated best and others
that rated poorly. Twenty corporate attributes are classified into six
elements, such as emotional appeal and financial performance
Fortune/Roper corporate reputation index: Uses data gathered from the
’Most Admired’ ranking, which polls 10,000 business leaders on eight
attributes such as long-term investment value and employee talent. Roper
adds to that a mail survey of 17,000 consumers, where questions are
tailored to the general public.