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Reputation gone north—Canadian brands using CR to build connections 

by | Nov 26, 2018 | Public Relations

Canadian companies that live their brand purpose every day are few and far between—but the ones that do are earning stellar reputations for corporate responsibility (CR), according to a new survey from the Reputation Institute, in partnership with Argyle Public Relationships, one of Canada’s largest reputation management consultancies.

In its newly released rankings, the global reputation research firm ranks MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op) and Canadian Tire as the nation’s CR leaders.

“This year’s results mark a shift, as Canadians expect companies to go beyond what we normally consider ‘social responsibility’—they must be seen as responsible on multiple dimensions: fiscal, social, environmental and as employers,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer at Reputation Institute, in a news release.

The 2018 CR RepTrak reflects public perceptions of corporate performance across three key dimensions of corporate reputation: citizenship, workplace and governance. The results show which companies Canadians admire most for their positive societal influence, environmental friendliness, openness and transparency, ethical behavior and concern for their employees’ well-being.

Based on the results of a survey among informed respondents on close to 300 companies, here are the top ten most reputable Canadian companies in corporate responsibility:

*Top score in governance and citizenship

** Top score in workplace

“This study is a powerful reminder that reputation isn’t just about communication: it’s about the connection between what you say and what you do,” said Daniel Tisch, CEO of Argyle Public Relationships, in the release. “That’s how some companies build emotional bonds with their stakeholders, driving supportive behaviors such as intent to purchase, likelihood to recommend, willingness to invest, and giving the company the benefit of the doubt in a crisis.”

The research also revealed key trends in corporate responsibility, both here and abroad:

  • Delivering on corporate responsibility sets the foundation for trust
  • Corporate responsibility elevates the emotional connection with a company
  • In corporate communication, it’s important to speak to a company’s purpose
  • Those who lead with responsibility reap the biggest reputational benefits
  • There is a lot of “white space” in corporate responsibility, where few companies lead, particular around transparency

“In building a reputation for responsibility, we can’t understate the importance of leadership from the top,” added Tisch. “The companies with the best CR reputations often have CEOs who are seen as activists—leaders whose words and actions deliver positive social change.”

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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