‘Businesses expected to speak up on societal issues’ – CIPR welcomes CBI report

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has welcomed new research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) tracking public attitudes towards business. 

Everyone’s business tracker: Public attitudes report  (PDF) reveals 92% of the public want businesses to speak out on key issues impacting society. The report argues an increased focus on gender pay reporting, GDPR and Brexit has encouraged businesses to speak more openly about the challenges they face. 

However the research warns the impact of high profile failures has tarnished the broader reputation of business, with 56% of the public believing the reputation of business is good, down 9% since October last year.

The collapse of Carillion and the Cambridge Analytica scandal have had a negative impact on the reputation of business and highlight the need for firms to commit to corporate governance and fulfil their social responsibilities.

Sarah Hall Chart.PR, FCIPR, CIPR President says:

There is a clear demand for business to operate with social purpose. Just today we’ve seen Nike launch an advertising campaign with the former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick. 

Public relations professionals have a key role to play in guiding these decisions and encouraging businesses to align their interests with their audiences. We have the opportunity to ensure clients and businesses operate ethically and responsibly with the beneficial outcomes that result in terms of reputation and brand loyalty. 


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