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What people really think about worldwide companies

This month saw the release of McCann’s Truth About Global Brands study, revealing insights into attitudes surrounding some of the planet’s biggest firms. Needless to say, then, it makes for intriguing reading.
The survey took into account 30,000 respondents in 29 countries, and from it we can learn plenty. For example, here in the U.K., ‘banter’ is more important on social media than boasting, particularly when it comes to professional networks such as LinkedIn, where followers view self-congratulatory posts with askance, and are increasingly likely to engage with witty, personable updates than anything else.
Elsewhere, Britons gave their friends an average of 16 gifts per year, compared with a global average of nine. Meanwhile, out of every nation asked, results show Chinese people spend the least amount of time each day on their own; Australians the most. All interesting reading, but from a business perspective there are two particular findings that really stand out as the most important. And both relate to the way firms should strive to improve the world – or, as we like to call it, Corporate Social Responsibility.
More than four-fifths (a staggering 85%) of respondents stated that they believe global brands have the power to make the world better, and should behave as such. Unfortunately, though, on average only 31% agreed with the statement that the majority of people want to help out their fellow humans. Not only does this show the huge potential for companies getting involved in CSR campaigns to be viewed as favourable by consumers, it also reveals a disparity between what the public wants and delivery on the part of corporations.
Here at Smoking Gun PR we have long been advocates of our clients giving something back to society as a whole. Less a cynical recommendation in order to simply boost sales, this is genuinely because we understand that in order to succeed in business you need to be profitable but also moral. We could namecheck plenty of companies that have fallen foul of PR scandals as a result of bad practice, unethical dealings, poor staff treatment and terrible environmental records- just take a look at our weekly Blagger’s Blog. But, to avoid repetition, we’ll spare you the list.
According to a report from KPMG International- The State of Global Corporate Responsibility- by 2013 some 71% of companies across the world were engaged in some form of CSR. That level is only increasing. In turn this has lead to greater expectations on the business world not only to be accountable, but also help create a fairer, happier and more just place for all. Failing to grasp this isn’t just shortsighted, it’s akin to bad business, so ignore these statistics at your peril.

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