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Keep your PR brags realistic

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Should companies take a stand on social issues? Definitely yes, says a study from FleishmanHillard Fishburn titled The Dying Days of Spin.

But keep it real. FHF looked at 51 issues and surveyed 1000 consumers.

Two things are particularly striking.

1. The issues that UK consumers most expect companies to take a stand on are those which they can directly influence and authentically drive action on. e.g. Data security/privacy, minimum wage, gender pay, sexual harassment, AI and jobs – rather than bigger societal topics like freedom of speech, education, sustainability or even Brexit.

2. It’s not millennials who expect the most from companies, it’s actually the ‘silent generation’ aged 73+ that expect the most.

So there’s a gap between what consumers care about most and what they think big companies should do about it. They might want to live a lot longer or be a lot richer but they don’t expect Nike, or Lloyds Bank, say, to make that possible.

Any time a big company does overreach in its marketing, the vast majority of people spot it for the bullshit that it is. But those that communicate simply about goals that are realistically within their reach, get brownie points.

It’s a good report. You can get it here.


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