A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 34 - In search of the world's best corporate reputation
Smoke Signal, A Public Relations Podcast
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Smoke Signal, A Public Relations Podcast
A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 34 - In search of the world's best corporate reputation
Apr 20, 2022 Season 3 Episode 34
Paul Cheal

At its core public relations is reputation management. Building, protecting and repairing brand reputations is what we do. Research shows that organisations with better reputations outperform their peers, better attract and retain talent, inspire deeper loyalty and develop louder advocates. A brand’s reputation is built by both what it does and what is says – making communication a fundamental building block of reputation

It is in that context that I picked up with interest the 2022 Global RepTrak 100  which ranks the corporate reputation of the world’s leading companies. 

In this episode I am joined by Oliver Freedman who heads up RepTrak in Australia and APAC to discuss all things reputation. In this report, which RepTrak describes as the definitive ranking and analysis of corporate reputation, the reputation research firm searches the globe for the world's best corporate reputation.

At its core a good reputation is an emotional attachment that individuals have towards a company – the level of trust, admiration, respect and good feeling. Oliver talks through the seven drivers of reputation - products and services; innovation; financial performance; employee wellbeing; its citizenship in the community; corporate conduct and governance; and leadership - as well as some emerging themes from across the globe:

  1. ESG is only increasing in importance… the public is only becoming more disappointed. There is a desire – and a sense of expectation - from the community for companies to put the community in front of profits and drive real change…. But while there are a lot of commitments there remains growing disappointment that real change is not happening quicker.  
  2. Media and reputation are symbiotic. How news outlets discuss organisations impacts reputation, how corporate reputation is perceived impacts how news outlets discuss those organizations, and so on.
  3. You’re not competing against your competitors for attention, you’re competing with everyone, everywhere, all the time.  Gone are the days you compare performance against just your competitors; you’re not just competing with other companies, you are competing with politics, you are competing with COVID. It is about being smarter, using the right channels to reach the right audiences with the right content. 

So which brand has the best reputation in the world? 
Surprisingly it is not the new and cool tech companies that may come first to mind. Rather the list features companies that have been around for many decades, but despite the world changing dramatically, have stayed true to who they. Many are also luxury brands - Rolex, Mercedes, Ferrari, Harley-Davidson – they are classic, but the innovate and they are aspirational.

Take a listen to hear the who else makes the list and why.