Workplace Culture, CEO Activism, Fake News Seen Critical to Brand Reputation

Along with Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer (PRN, January 30, 2018), the Reputation Institute’s yearly RepTrak rating of brands’ value is eagerly awaited in the PR community. Set for mid March, this year’s report will show several reputational factors are newly invigorated.

For example, CEOs must be active on important social issues, Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Reputation Institute’s executive partner and chief research officer, says. He points to the reputational importance of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s comments about U.S. immigration policy in January 2017.

Hahn-Griffiths also notes the importance of brands dealing quickly and expertly with fake news and rumors. His example is the Starbucks incident last August (see chart, bottom), where a rumor on social media said the brand was offering dreamers 40% off their coffee.

Third, with a tight recruiting market, he says, being “an employer of choice” will be highly valuable. As the chart below shows, 40% of reputation weight is defined by the so-called intangible factors of workplace culture, leadership and citizenship.

Source: Reputation Institute
Source: Reputation Institute