F-H Davos survey spells out reputation’s status

Chief executives rate their organisations’ reputation higher than ever as a measure of success, according to a survey by Fleishman-Hillard at the World Economic Forum.

They rate it above returns, sustainability, share performance and even profitability, a survey of delegates at the 34th Forum in Davos, Switzerland has found.

Fifty-nine per cent reckoned their brands were worth 40 per cent or more of their companies’ market capitalisation while 77 per cent believed that brands – which the survey classifies as reputations – are more important than two years ago. It is the first time the Forum has conducted a survey on corporate reputation.

‘This begins to show what we’ve been suspecting over the last few years, and which other studies have shown: that brand is the most important thing. That’s what we’ve found talking to CEOs,’ said the Forum’s head of media Mark Adams. It also showed that companies were starting to consider brands as vital to a healthy bottom line over the long term, he added.

Twenty-four per cent considered reputation as most significant, topped only by the 27 per cent who championed quality of goods and services.

l Fleishman-Hillard has revamped its senior management tier in Europe and Africa citing the need to exploit a perceived upturn in the PR sector and opportunities in Eastern Europe as the main reasons.

The US-based firm, whose firms in the UK include Herald Communications, healthcare agency CPR, and public affairs specialist GPC, has moved the region’s head John Modzelewski to a newly created role of president of client relations, which has a global remit.

He has been replaced by senior partner David Senay, who already has a regional brief overseeing work in the central region of the US.

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