Introducing the Corporate Character Barometer
Less than one-quarter of communications pros have a playbook for knowing when and how to take a stand; Peppercomm launches new issues and crisis management solution to categorize and mitigate risks of speaking out.
Today, in partnership with Ragan Communications, we announced the findings of a groundbreaking new study on corporate character and the debut of the Corporate Character Barometer, a quarterly metric of brands’ willingness to speak out to stakeholders on important societal issues. The agency partnered with Ragan Communications, the leading resource and publisher of information about corporate communications, internal communications and employee engagement, on this research.
Peppercomm also launched today its new issues and crisis communications solution, RepCompass, that guides organizations through the development of an issues response framework aligned to their unique values and stakeholders, and successfully prepares for those critical moments when they have an opportunity to speak out (or not).
- The CCB makes its debut at 18 out of 100, indicating that only 18% of organizations are very likely to speak out in the coming quarter.
- Yet 70% of consumers believe it is important for brands to take a stand
on societal topics (SproutSocial).
- And two-thirds (66%) say it is important to their employees that the CEO communicates a position on controversial issues.
- Even with midterm elections on the horizon, more than half (55%) were unlikely to take a stand on major political or social issues in the next quarter.
- Forty percent said they had experienced a positive result from a CEO speaking out, while less than a quarter experienced a negative outcome.
So, what’s holding us back?
- Credibility. Conversations with communicators revealed a key challenge that emerged is not just deciding if they should speak out, but truly understanding if their brand has the credibility to do so. Communicators report that the risk of speaking out is exacerbated by the potential for being called out for not walking the talk.
- Readiness. Less than a quarter of communications pros have a playbook for knowing when and how to take a stand, while the majority (51%) reported they have no playbooks in place. Roughly two in 10 have started but not finished frameworks for addressing societal issues.
The Corporate Character Barometer (CCB) gauges how willing organizations and their leaders are to speak out on the societal issues making headlines at any given time. The index is calculated using a survey of corporate communications executives in the U.S. and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The survey was fielded during September 2022 to 400 internal and external communications professionals.