The measurement of reputation and the alignment of corporate purpose have become essential indicators for companies since they allow them to quantify the opinion that stakeholders have of their activity at all levels: what a company is (its purpose), what it does (its business) and what it says (its relations with the environment).
For this reason, the leader or spokesperson is key: through studies carried out by Thinking Heads, we have empirical evidence that the leader’s reputation represents 30% of the company’s total reputation. What does this mean? Improving the leader’s reputation has an impact on reputation prediction and improves by up to 10% the control they have over the supportive behaviors of the different stakeholders. We are talking about important economic impacts. This makes it essential for leaders to take care of their public image and analyze their positioning, purpose and reputation: how is this person projecting him/herself to society, does he/she meet the expectations placed on him/her?
Here comes the disclaimer: there is no single recipe for improving the reputation of the leader and the company; it depends on each case. For DIRCOMs, understanding which factors have an influence is no longer a matter of intuition and insight, but of data analysis.
According to the surveys we have been conducting over the last year of 25 leaders of large Spanish companies, the average reputation of the leader in Spain is 67.8 points out of 100. If we make compare this with school marks: it is good, but does not reach a B (more than 70 points) and is far from excellent (more than 80 points on the reputational scales).
However, this data must be customized for each leader. By sector, we know that banking CEOs are slightly below average (66.7 points) and energy CEOs are slightly above average (67.8). Each of the leaders studied also have their own weaknesses and strengths in the different areas of analysis (leadership, management, communication skills, etc.).
Another question that the reputation analysis allows us to answer is how the opinion of the leader is distributed. On average, we know that there are not usually many detractors (7.54%), but there is a large mass of people who are undecided about the leaders (50.4%). This hesitation usually comes from a lack of knowledge or familiarity with the person. Here we can see a direct use of the measurement: the need to expose the companies’ spokespeople more to society.
We can go further and find out where we need to take the CEO to improve his/her (and the company’s) reputation. Each communication channel has a different impact, which also depends on the individual characteristics of the person and the sector. For example, those who have seen CEOs in the energy sector at events have on average a 14.2 point higher opinion than the rest of the people surveyed. But the reach is 14%, which is significantly lower than that of the specialized press (39.5 %), which, however, has a less positive impact (2.9 points).
A logical consequence of this conclusion would be to increase the participation of these leaders in conferences, round tables, public events etc.
In the case of the Banking Sector, however, the impact of conferences is lower (6.3), so is their reach (11.5%), so the positioning strategy should place less emphasis on this type of activity.
In other words, a good analysis of a leader’s reputation can give DIRCOMs the keys to improve their positioning. And this will result in an increase in the company’s reputation, ultimately leading to improved business results ranging from talent acquisition and retention to the acquisition of new customers and investors.
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