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Harris Interactive just released it's 9th Annual Survey of the 60 most visible US companies. Their findings: 71% of consumers say the reputation of corporate America is "poor," but consumers will buy, recommend and invest in companies that concentrate on building their corporate reputation.

What are those building blocks? More than profits.

  • emotional appeal

  • vision/leadership

  • social responsibility

  • workplace environment

  • financial performance

  • products/services

How do you measure reputation? According to Ken Powell, Chairman and CEO of General Mills, you do so in:

  • recognition

  • employee recruitment and retention

  • stock price multiples, even

  • trust is by far the most important measure

The top ten companies on this year's list include (with social media URLs or specific category scores):
1. Google - Google User Experience manifesto
2. Johnson & Johnson - JNJ BTW a three dimensional view of Johnson & Johnson
3. Intel Corporation - IT @ Intel Blog
4. General Mills - scores in social responsibility, emotional appeal, workplace environment
5. Kraft Foods - scores in emotional appeal and workplace environment
6. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. - scores in financial performance, vision & leadership
7. 3M Company - scores in emotional appeal and products & services
8. The Coca-Cola Company - Coca-Cola Conversations
9. Honda Motor Co. - "Honda strives to be a company that society wants to exist," said Jeffrey Smith, spokesperson for American Honda Motor Company, Inc. "As such we endeavor to create value for our customers and society through our efforts to improve fuel efficiency, enhance safety, provide products of the highest quality, and be on the leading edge of corporate social responsibility."
10. Microsoft - Microsoft Community blogs
From the press release:
Overall, more companies taking an active role affecting and managing their reputation are seeing positive results, while those that are not continue to see their reputation decline.

Why does it matter? Because we buy and recommend products and services based on a company's reputation - as experienced in customer service, and perceived through the display of high ethical standards. It comes down to trust. That five-letter word.
Rather than focusing on improving familiarity, companies would be better served in working to improve understanding. What do you think? Have the social media activities helped the companies that engage in them score higher on this list?
For select research download the PDF here.

Continue reading "Trust is Most Important Measure for Reputation: The Top Ten US Companies" ... Read the full article

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Valeria Maltoni helps businesses understand how customers and communities have changed marketing, public relations, and communications - and how to build value in this new environment. As a communicator she specializes in marketing communications, customer dialogue, and brand management. Valeria has come to define modern business as a long and open conversation. Conversation Agent is recognized among the world's top online marketing blogs. Valeria is a Fast Company expert blogger and a contributor to The Blog Herald. She is a co-author of , a groundbreaking ebook collaboration by 103 of today's top marketing writers. Valeria is a frequent public speaker on brand marketing, customer service, and building successful business teams. She publishes in both English and Italian. Educated at the University of Bologna and Villanova University, Valeria combines New World sensibilities with Italian style. She's an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the American Marketing Association (AMA), the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (WACA), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).