New research from The Worldcom Public Relations Group what CEOs are saying about the impact of the War in Ukraine, identifying five main topical issues that global CEOs and CMOs are talking about.
In the period between February and May 2022, the top five topics are: The massive displacement of people and refugee flows; the impact on energy prices; the impact on food security; making the issues of hunger and poverty worse; causing divisions among people and countries.
Human cost of the war receives sustained attention, but global food security became the number one topic in May
Unsurprisingly, the most talked about issue at the beginning of the conflict was the massive displacement of people and refugees fleeing Ukraine. This topic had the biggest engagement from global CEOs and CMOs between February and March, out of the top five topics discovered. The Ukraine war has caused the worst refugee crisis since World War II, which could lead to a significant increase in human trafficking and child protection crisis. However, by May concern over global food security and the impact that would have on their people and their business, had become the top issue.
The Ukraine war is disrupting supply chains and has caused the price of oil and gas to skyrocket
This topic received the second biggest engagement from global CEOs and CMOs between February and May, out of the top five topics. The cost of energy has obvious implications for the cost of ongoing operations but has significant implications for the way organiaations operate too. For example, companies that were returning to office-based working, might have to rethink their strategy to relieve pressure on the rising cost of living.
“Leaders need to develop a clear strategy for protecting their brands from the impact of the war. Stakeholders expect immediate action to minimise the impact of increases in fuel and food prices,” said Todor Janev, chairman of Worldcom, in a news release. “The WCI data shows that they also expect leaders to take action on policies which will have longer term implications. This includes increasing the pace at which they embrace ESG policies and demonstrate that their business believes in profit with a purpose. Communicating clearly, consistently, and transparently on these topics will be essential to building stakeholder trust and belief.”
“Many business leaders have been quick to show support for the people of Ukraine and make meaningful decisions about their business ties to Russia,” said Todd Lynch, managing director of Worldcom, in the release. “But the results of this special tracking report show that the focus is now switching to issues that have both immediate and sustained implications on operations, employees and their customers/key stakeholders. Brands with an international or global footprint need to identify how these five topics change in priority from one country to the next and then make sure they are communicating their positions/actions effectively and frequently to their key stakeholders.”
The Worldcom Confidence Index is the world’s most extensive monthly study of what the C Suite is talking about. And it is the only global study that shows the change in confidence and engagement across a range of important business topics.
Download the full report here.
The Worldcom Confidence Index is the first AI-driven ‘living’ global market research, tracking the topics that over 80,000 CEOs and CMOs are commenting on online. The AI-fuelled tracker is updated monthly and is drawn from an active sample of over 100,000 C-Suite executives. It tracks data for two roles, six regions, 42 countries and 11 industry sectors. It identifies the levels of engagement with business topics and how much the level of confidence for each topic has changed. It is the first global study of this type to use AI supported data capture. The longitudinal analysis employed by ASI, the research company providing the data for the WCI, enables Worldcom to look back in time and make direct comparisons for levels engagement and confidence.