TORONTO, May 27, 2014 /CNW/ - The StrategyCorp Reputation Report, a new
annual national survey of how reputations are impacted by crises,
reveals that when a major issue hits an organization, the majority of
Canadians form opinions very quickly - 61 per cent within one day and
92 per cent within one week. It also finds that once that opinion is
formed, 62 per cent said their opinion stays the same or doesn't change
at all - even after hearing the organization respond to the crisis.
Fewer than four in ten respondents said that their opinion would
probably change as time goes on.
The report, prepared by StrategyCorp Inc. and conducted by Innovative
Research Group, looks at specific public relations issues from 2013
involving the City of Toronto, the Ontario Government, the Canadian
Senate, BlackBerry, Lululemon, and others. The report reveals that
among the crisis and issues tested, the above-named organizations
suffered the greatest damage to their reputations.
"What stood out clearly in this report was that each of these
controversies had a definite and measurable negative impact on the
reputation of each organization. Even more interesting was the finding
that when negative news emerges about an organization, most Canadians
form their opinion very quickly - within a few hours or in the first
day - and that their opinion most often doesn't change," said John
Perenack of StrategyCorp. "When organizations react to negative news,
they only have one opportunity to get the response right, and have an
extremely short timeframe in which to respond."
The survey asked respondents their opinions on the individuals and
organizations that experienced public relations crises in 2013, and
assessed how the responses by made by each organization or individual
influenced respondents' opinions of the organization as a whole. The
episodes that were tested are now notorious reputational issues for the
organizations and individuals involved, and include:
The Ontario government's decision to cancel two natural gas power plants
at a cost of $1 billion
City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's admission to smoking crack cocaine
The Canadian Senate's expenses controversy
The Quebec government's proposed 'Charter of Values'
BlackBerry's financial losses, employee layoffs and CEO resignation
Protests against TransCanada Pipeline's Energy East pipeline in New
Brunswick that turned violent
Lululemon Athletica's yoga pants recall and subsequent comments by the
CEO about the company's clothes not being appropriate for some women
The study found that the organizations that suffered the biggest
negative impact on their reputations were the Canadian Senate (69 per
cent negative opinion), the Ontario Government (68 per cent negative
opinion), City of Toronto (67 per cent negative opinion), Quebec
Government (64 per cent negative opinion), BlackBerry (58 per cent
negative opinion), Lululemon (51 per cent negative opinion), and
TransCanada Pipeline (44 per cent negative opinion).
When organizations did respond to a crisis, the survey found that
Canadians gave them low marks for their response:
Good Job Responding
Poor Job Responding
Government of Quebec
Senate of Canada
City of Toronto
"In every case, the findings show that many more people thought the
organizations did a poor job of responding to the issue, compared to
those who say the issue was handled well," added Perenack. "These were
complex situations, some completely unforeseen, and would have been
undoubtedly difficult to manage under the best of circumstances. The
importance of preparation is crucial to avoiding being caught by
surprise on the day an issue hits, and to gaining control before it
spirals into crisis."
Additional Key Findings
Canadians form an opinion of the organization at the centre of a
controversy almost immediately: 40 per cent within a few hours and 61
per cent within the first day.
Once Canadians form an opinion about an organization, it doesn't tend to
change. 62 per cent said that even after hearing the organization
respond, their opinion stays about the same or doesn't change at all.
Less than four in ten said that their opinion will probably change as
time goes on.
Initial responses to political controversies were much more negative
than to business controversies.
Canadians had the strongest negative reaction to the Rob Ford
revelations (7.5/10), followed by the Ontario gas plant cancellation
(7.1/10) and Senate expense scandal (7.0/10) (Scale: 0-Extremely
Positive / 10-Extremely Negative)
Canadians tend to follow controversies mostly on television (44 per
cent), followed by web sites (19 per cent), newspapers (18 per cent),
radio (12 per cent), and social media (7 per cent)
A full version of the StrategyCorp Reputation Report can be found at http://strategycorp.com/index.php/reputation-report-2014/.
About the Survey
The survey of 2,604 Canadians was conducted by Innovative Research Group
on behalf of StrategyCorp Inc. and included respondents from every
region in Canada. The poll has an estimated margin of error of ± 2.2
per cent, 19 times out of 20.
About StrategyCorp Inc.
StrategyCorp is one of Canada's leading communications firms and is led
by a skilled team of communications, political and business
strategists. We bring together unique experience in strategic and
corporate communications, reputation management and public affairs.
StrategyCorp was founded in 1995 and has offices in Toronto and
Ottawa. Visit us at www.strategycorp.com.
About Innovative Research Group
Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) is a strategy firm that offers
significant research capabilities. In today's world, perception is
reality. It has become critical to stay on top of current trends and
ensure that you are being perceived in the way you wish. We provide
companies, governments and non-governmental organizations with
high-level strategic counsel and communications advice, reputation
management, issue and crisis management, performance assessment and
public affairs counsel. More information can be found at http://www.innovativeresearch.ca.
SOURCE: StrategyCorp Inc.
For further information:
Aliya Jiwan-Thawer, StrategyCorp
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-999-3355