Collapse in global confidence highlights reputation red flag for businesses worldwide
News - 8th November 2019
Role of influencers and confidence in media impact
highlight continued need to focus on education and core skills
CEO confidence is plummeting worldwide according to a new global study, The Worldcom Confidence Index published this week. The report has highlighted that confidence levels across a range of business and communications issues have dropped by over 20% since last year.
Alongside revelations of low confidence in the ability to
deal with regulatory changes, global tariff issues and employee related
worries, are stark findings highlighting risks around managing and protecting
reputation. Fuelling this seems to be a lack of confidence in the ability to
engage with influencers and media to do this.
The study, commissioned by the Worldcom Public Relations
Group a leading global partnership of independent public relations firms, is an
analysis of online content from more than 58,000 chief executive and chief
marketing officers that used innovative artificial intelligence to track and
interpret publicly available social media content. It covers the subjects that
these groups are willing and able to talk about online, raising some new and
recurring challenges for marketers and communicators to address.
Socio-economic forces such as impending global recession may
be amplifying these concerns and making business leaders examine their ability
to effectively prepare and manage communications during a crisis.
Rhodri Harries, Managing Director of Kaizo, a UK partner of
“Political, economic and social issues are gripping the
corporate agenda and brand managers, corporate communications functions and
agencies need to act now. Global leaders are more than a little concerned about
their corporate image, brand reputation and their ability to protect it in a
crisis, and it’s time to address this.”
“There needs to be greater focus on proactive campaigning to
support rigorous, tested, systems to highlight potential risks.”
The report also shows an increasing source of concern around
the impact that influencers and media can have on a brand and CEO’s confidence
in their company’s ability to manage the effect they have.
While influencers are ranked as the most important audience
in the study, there is little confidence in effectively reaching and mobilising
them. The global insights showed a real gap in terms of a business’s ability to
communicate effectively with influencers or meet their needs to have the right
impact for the brand.
Rhodri Harries, continued:
“There seems to be a clear opportunity to help educate some
CEOs and CMOs on the role an influencer can and should play, and how to work
with them in a collaborative and effective way. Especially as influencers play
an important role in balancing public opinion in a crisis, as well as
advocating a company’s products and services, and enhancing its brand’s
Perhaps more concerning in the study’s results is the lack
of confidence global leaders still have in the media, a channel they are
generally more familiar with, in terms of creating the right impact for their
businesses. Leaders are more confident in their abilities to reach
shareholders, customers, suppliers, and even government officials than they are
the media. The recent renaissance of traditional PR skills in terms of media
relations is clearly set to continue as brands need to focus on core values and
reputation and how these play out in the news.
UK partners in Worldcom include Kaizo, JBP PR, Onva and FWD.