.trust Healthcare Sector 2020-2021

How are the European pharma and biotech sectors addressing strategic communications?

Published by Pharmaphorum magazine, the second edition of Lundquist.trust for the Healthcare sector examined 17 pharma and biotech companies across Europe and the UK.

Consumers are accelerating progress and shifting expectations

How are companies linking strategic partnerships to purpose? Where do biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies stand when it comes to navigating new challenges such as digitisation and pressing issues such as access to medicine and care? What are companies doing to tackle Covid-19 and how are they using leadership at a time when healthcare providers are under the spotlight? Above all, what actions have emerged as key to maintaining trust in the new normal?

These questions have guided us in a new analysis of the healthcare industry through our flagship .trust research programme.

.trust (read: dot trust) is our flagship research programme and seeks to assess the ability of corporate communications to support competitiveness and to inspire trust, today’s business “currency.” The Healthcare sector edition is the second in a series of industry-specific studies we’re rolling out as we look at the post-pandemic communications landscape in Europe.

With .trust we have created a communications framework and analysis perfectly suited to interpreting these shifting times, but also a practical tool to guide companies in navigating new communication challenges, a playbook for generating trust with stakeholders that brings together emerging trends, future strategy, and digital communications.

To request a copy of the whitepaper, please contact Rosanna Campbell-Gray at rosanna.campbell-gray@lundquist.it

Creating credible communication that not only creates trust but maintains it over time requires commitment, a clear purpose, and a medium-to-long-term strategy.

– Joakim Lundquist

Curious to find out more about our work on the healthcare sector?

To order the in-depth benchmark report and a tailored analysis, get in touch with Rosanna Campbell-Gray – rosanna.campbell-gray@lundquist.it

Key Findings: pupose-led organisations lead the way

Purpose, leadership, storytelling, innovation, and Sustainable Development Goals are being used as catch-all terms to talk about the future of a business. But what do they mean in practical terms? How can individual companies translate these elements into a unique vision that strengthens stakeholder relations and elicits greater trust? We created .trust to provide practical answers to these questions and guide companies in harnessing communications to support the business. The .trust communications framework and analysis is built on two axes that intersect to create our communication matrix:

Consumers are driving and accelerating change when it comes to healthcare, demanding better, faster, and more accessible services. The Covid-19 pandemic has further altered the dynamics for this sector and leading players are showing the importance of collaboration, partnership, and new forms of innovation to protect public health globally.

The best companies show rather than tell, giving stakeholders clear insights into how they are navigating this new scenario. Others lack strategic incorporation of key messages within their overall communications ecosystem. The company’s purpose should permeate through all aspects of digital communications, from leadership to partnerships.

The nine companies that emerge as leaders when it comes to communicating with both substance and distinctiveness are AstraZeneca, Bayer, CHR Hansen, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Philips, Roche and Sanofi.

.trust Banking sector 2020-2021

Communicating what matters.

Published exclusively by the International Banker magazine, the first edition of Lundquist.trust for the Financial Services and Banking sector examined 16 leading banks and challengers across Europe.

Uncertain times are shifting expectations: the banking sector is adapting

How has the pandemic affected banks’ commitment to stakeholders and the wider society, and who is leading the way forward in terms of credible and innovative approaches? How are banks responding to the explosion in interest in sustainable and ESG investing? Above all, what kind of actions have emerged as key to maintaining trust in the new normal? These are just some of the ambitious questions we set ourselves in our Banking and Financial Services sector edition of .trust

.trust (read: dot trust) is our flagship research programme and seeks to assess the ability of corporate communications to support competitiveness and to inspire trust, today’s business “currency.” The Banking and Financial Services sector edition is the first in a series of industry-specific studies we’re rolling out as we look at the post-pandemic communications landscape in Europe. Coming soon will be a focus on the healthcare sector, followed later in the year by close look at the consumer goods and luxury fashion sectors.

With .trust we have created a communications framework and analysis perfectly suited to interpreting these shifting times, but also a practical tool to guide companies in navigating new communication challenges, a playbook for generating trust with stakeholders that brings together emerging trends, future strategy, and digital communications.

.trust banking sector 2021

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Creating credible communication that not only creates trust but maintains it over time requires commitment, a clear purpose, and a medium-to-long-term strategy.

– Joakim Lundquist

Curious to find out more about our work on the banking and financial services sector?

To order the in-depth benchmark report and a tailored analysis, get in touch with Rosanna Campbell-Gray – rosanna.campbell-gray@lundquist.it

Key Findings: pupose-led organisations lead the way

Purpose, leadership, storytelling, innovation, and Sustainable Development Goals are being used as catch-all terms to talk about the future of a business. But what do they mean in practical terms? How can individual companies translate these elements into a unique vision that strengthens stakeholder relations and elicits greater trust? We created .trust to provide practical answers to these questions and guide companies in harnessing communications to support the business. The .trust communications framework and analysis is built on two axes that intersect to create our communication matrix:

After an unprecedented global emergency and economic dislocation, the sense is that change too has become endemic and we should expect that the new normal should continue to throw up challenges, from disruption to business models, new challengers, and digital transformation.

Our research shows that some companies were well prepared and adapted easily, others simply responded. Having looked at the banking industry in Europe, we can see which strategies were adopted by purpose-driven companies.

The analysis is focussed on two aspects that we consider to be fundamental in the creation of trust and communication of leadership:

The companies that succeed in walking the fine line between substance and distinctiveness constitute the leading pack: BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Lloyds Banking Group and Nordea.

.trust Switzerland listed 2020

Communicating what matters.

The second edition of Lundquist.trust for Swiss listed companies examined 37 companies that throughout the years have stood out because of their dedication to transparent digital communications. Find out more about how we selected the companies included here.

Uncertain times are shifting expectations: How are companies reacting? 

The shift in the scenario brought about by the Covid-19 crisis was not a bolt from the blue. There is no doubt that the pandemic accelerated a series of trends that were already underway, perhaps remaining below the radar for many.

With .trust we have created a communications framework and analysis perfectly suited to interpreting these shifting times, but also a practical tool to guide companies in navigating new communication challenges, a playbook for generating trust with stakeholders that brings together emerging trends, future strategy, and digital communications.

.trust Switzerland Listed 2020

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The crisis brought about by Covid-19 has broadened the rift with traditional approaches to communication. Concrete answers are needed to overcome today’s challenges as well as a proactive attitude that focuses on the role companies intend to play towards the sustainable development of the societies in which they operate.

– Joakim Lundquist

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Martina Scapin for an offer: martina.scapin@lundquist.it

Key Findings: how do Swiss companies stack up?

Purpose, leadership, storytelling, innovation, and Sustainable Development Goals are being used as catch-all terms to talk about the future of a business. But what do they mean in practical terms? How can individual companies translate these elements into a unique vision that strengthens stakeholder relations and elicits greater trust? We created .trust to provide practical answers to these questions and guide companies in harnessing communications to support the business. The .trust communications framework and analysis is built on two axes that intersect to create our communication matrix:

The socio-economic context generated by Covid-19 has provided the impetus for a new wave of communication.

Companies with mature and well-structured communication ecosystems have shown that they know how to contextualise this moment and have gotten ahead of the wave, while others have just been reacting.

This year, nine new companies were included in our .trust analysis, proving their dedication towards corporate communications. Many of the new companies qualified as Traditionalists, which have doubled from the seven Traditionalists last year. An unsurprising trend given these companies just this year qualified for a good level of transparency.

Again this year there are no Explainers, but many companies place within the Glitterati category, performing more strongly in the Distinctiveness pillar. Finally, there has been a positive increase in the Narrators category, from 8 in 2019 to 11 in 2020.

The best of the best

Make or break moment

In this year’s edition we have seen an increased awareness of the importance of transparent communications, also reflected by the greater amount of companies that made it into our analysis.

We have several more companies that made it into the “narrators” category. For many other companies, however, we found that concrete narration that provides substance for commitment for the future is lacking.

Unfortunately, these companies risk lagging behind, and in time they will lose trust and credibility.

This moment we are living should act as a wake-up call, as a starting point in which companies decide to participate in redefining their role in society, for now and for the future. Now is the time to contribute actively to create a better, more interconnected, and sustainable future.

 

What should companies focus on?

Communicating a clear and concise purpose is crucial for a company’s credibility and should act as an anchor when presenting the following 4 key elements. Since these assets revealed themselves to be many companies’ Achilles heel, these are also the areas that need to be invested in most:

Resilience, experimentations, speed: the perfect combo

In this rapidly shifting context, companies need to rethink strategies, reshape style and channels, experiment, and rethink processes.

Companies have changed the pace of their narratives: stories, snapshots, videos, and clearly focused content. A whole unique narrative condensed into a line of text, into an effective visual element, or in an appropriate podcast. These are the new elements of communications that have made their way onto our screens this year, and they are here to stay.

Many companies have not fully come to terms with the new challenges at their doorstep. Concreteness and direct lines of communication are the way forward in this and in any crisis.

.trust Italy non-listed 2020

Published in the Italian monthly Corriere Innovazione, the second edition of .trust examined 84 state- and family-owned companies and privately held food, fashion and luxury brands.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels, and related Wikipedia articles.

The evaluation measured them on two fundamental aspects: Substance (the key information needed to answer users’ questions about the business) and Distinctiveness (how users are engaged in digital channels). More details about the methodology here.

Having been conducted in the final phases of the first Italian lockdown, the study offers a unique perspective into the way the Covid-19 pandemic affected corporate communication strategies. 

.trust Italia Non Listed 2020

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The country’s future depends greatly on how these companies handle the crisis.

– Joakim Lundquist

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Simona Ortelli for an offer: simona.ortelli@lundquist.it

Key Findings: how do Italian companies stack up?

For this year’s edition of .trust for non-listed Italian companies, we began with a pool of 84 of Italy’s most important state- and privately-owned companies. These are companies that represent the lifeblood of the Italian economy, the most representative in terms of revenue, number of employees, and weight on the country’s system. Companies were evaluated on the basis of 2 pillars: Substance on the vertical axis, and Distinctiveness on the horizontal. Read more about the four .trust quadrants and overall research methodology

The first important result to take note of is that 42% of companies do not even communicate the bare minimum “substance” information and have therefore been classified as “On the Bench”. Only 49 companies were able to make it past the minimum substance threshold and were therefore also evaluated for their distinctiveness.

Of these, almost half (22 companies) fall into the “Traditionalists” category (bottom-left quadrant), which are the companies that just barely r passed the minimum threshold. What’s more, 11 companies are “Explainers” or companies that have valued substance over creating a distinctive approach to communications. Six companies did the exact opposite, prioritising form over facts, and landed themselves in the “Glitterati” quadrant.

Finally, 10 companies were able to strike a good balance between providing exhaustive information and the manner in which they presented it, and have therefore been classified as “Narrators”.

The best of the best

3 Emerging Trends

Covid-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of trends that were already underway in the world of communications. While some companies might not have been aware of these trends before the crisis, many are now giving the full attention.

1. Accelerating change through social media

Empathy, dialogue, and a pinch of optimism: the perfect combination that many companies adopted to swiftly react to the crisis at hand. Social media, in fact, pushed companies into changing the way they communicate. AXA, Barilla, and Lavazza are examples of companies that shifted their tone into creating engaging stories on social media. Videos seem to have been the optimal medium to get the message across, along with podcasts which have become an especially popular means of corporate communications this year.

How many companies spoke of Covid on social media?

Some topics that were addressed:
Dompé: studies on molecules (escalate4cov and international collaborations)
Italcementi: production of respirator valves to support intensive care units
CDP: renegotiating loans for public administration

2. Prioritising business topics over commercial topics

Corporate websites have become unitary communication ecosystems that carry forth the company’s core message. In fact, 65% of companies demonstrated greater depth in the presentation of their vision and identity, and almost 70% dedicated significant space on their websites to their innovation and sustainability programmes, evermore connected to the core business.

 

3. The importance of a concrete medium-to-long-term strategy to face challenges

Taking into consideration all themes and communication channels that were analysed in the .trust research this year, companies that stood out the most for their ability to convey a clear and forward-looking strategy across the board were: CDP, Ferrovie dello Stato, GSE, Granarolo, SACE, and Sisal.

The role companies hold in society has changed because of Covid-19. Some companies with already strong underlying communications structures were able to communicate proactively, others reacted to the moment realising the indispensable need to forge more structured communications as a front to these new challenges.

Will the momentum triggered by this year’s events prove to be a powerful catalyst for an inevitable transformation?

.trust Italy Listed 2020

Published in the Italian monthly Corriere Innovazione, the second Italian edition for listed companies examined 39 companies that throughout the years have stood out because of their dedication to transparent digital communications. Find out how we selected the companies included here.

With .trust we have created a research programme perfectly suited to interpreting these shifting times, but also a practical tool to guide companies in navigating new communication challenges, a playbook for generating trust with stakeholders that brings together emerging trends, future strategy, and digital communications.

.trust Italia Listed 2020

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The crisis brought about by Covid-19 has broadened the rift with traditional approaches to communication. Concrete answers are needed to overcome today’s challenges as well as a proactive attitude that focuses on the role companies intend to play towards the sustainable development of the societies in which they operate.

– Joakim Lundquist

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Caroline Becker for an offer: caroline.becker@lundquist.it

Key Findings: how do Italian companies stack up?

The .trust research is organised around two pillars – Substance on the vertical axis, and Distinctiveness on the horizontal axis  that contain essential elements of business communications. This approach has allowed us to develop a model that positions companies and their peers according to their communications approach. Read more about the four .trust quadrants and overall research methodology.

This year there has been a clear improvement in the number of companies that have been able to make it into the most highly coveted quadrant, that of the Narrators (located in the top-right quadrant). In fact, the number has doubled since 2019, going up from 9 to 18.

Companies in the Traditionalists quadrant (bottom-left) have decreased, from 14 companies in 2019 to just 8 companies in 2020. The percentage of companies in the Explainers (top-left) and Glitterati (bottom-right) quadrants, on the other hand, have remained similar to last year.

Companies to look out for this year are the best improvers: Intesa Sanpaolo, Webuild and Banca IFIS, which are companies that made leaps forward in their corporate communications from last year’s edition.

The best of the best

Make or break moment

Continue reading “.trust Italy Listed 2020”

.trust Switzerland Listed 2019-2020

Communication holds an increasingly important role in forging trust and guaranteeing the solidity of a business. It must all begin with identifying key company-and stakeholder-specific topics. Companies need to then be able to present their strategic activity, in tandem with quantifiable achievements and concrete actions.

We launched our research series “.trust: communicating what matters” for Switzerland’s largest listed companies to be able to respond to these questions and guide companies in communicating their corporate strategies and commitments in a believable and trustworthy way.

For the Swiss sample, we began with Swiss companies that were able to reach a good level of transparency in last year’s edition of Webranking. Only 28 Swiss companies made the cut and gained access to our flagship research project, .trust.

Key numbers

28 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
170+ subcriteria, distributed into
10 sections in the evaluation protocol

The analysis is focussed on two aspects that we consider to be fundamental in the creation of trust and communication of leadership:

  • Substance: which evaluates the ability to provide a solid and clear vision of the company and their purpose. This aspect creates a common thread between a company’s business strategy, commitment to sustainability, and innovation initiatives. It is fundamental, moreover, that managers and directors reinforce these messages and strengthen company leadership.
  • Distinctiveness: which evaluates how companies present their substantive contents or, more precisely, if they are able to create an engaging narrative that draws in their users and stakeholders. Here we consider elements such as the use of stories or case studies that support the messages, the effectiveness of linguistic and visual communication, the coherent use of social media, and the user experience of the website.

Find out more about how our research works

.trust makes sense of new trends and gives companies building blocks for effective corporate communication

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance and contact Arianna Evans for an offer: arianna.evans@lundquist.it

Key Findings: how do Swiss companies perform in this year’s research?

The .trust research series is organised around two pillars (Substance e Distinctiveness) that contain all essential elements of business communications. With this approach we offer a new interpretation to understand the placement of each company in relation to their peers and competitors.

This is how we have been able to delineate the four quadrants that synthesise the various different approaches to business communication.

Read more about the four communicator types

About 29% of companies are in the best category in the .trust matrix, the Narrators. These companies are able to present a clear vision of the company supported by a distinct ability to engage the user stakeholder as well as providing them with substantive information. Few in this category, however, have invested enough in corporate storytelling.

Amongst the best performers, five out of eight companies in the Narrators sectors are consumer companies, which includes companies such as Roche, Novartis, Nestlé, Swisscom, and Givaudan. These are companies that have been consolidating their role in Switzerland for years and, unsurprisingly, this has gone hand in hand with a clear focus on digital corporate communication.

Swiss Sleepers and Traditionalists make up about 62% of the initial 55-company sample. Swiss companies now find themselves at a crossroads on the journey towards creating a distinct sustainable and trustworthy corporate communications culture. No companies are in the Explainers quadrant.

The majority of Swiss companies, however, are in the Glitterati category. While it might be appealing to take the easier path towards this shiny quadrant with quick aesthetic fixes, companies should set their sights on becoming Narrators. To do this, companies will need to be able to balance company communications with coherent and consistent facts and presentation styles.

Strategy and vision as a guide to communication

An effective way to understand whether the mission is indeed an integrated part of the company (and not an empty statement), is to understand if it is linked to the company’s business and sustainability strategies.

Although the majority of the companies considered describe a strategic approach without limiting themselves to the presentation of their business plan, few make an explicit connection with their mission (29%).

Some companies that do so successfully are Baloise, Givaudan, Nestlé, and Barry Callebaut.

Strategically grounding sustainability commitments

A sustainability strategy is a key element when it comes to evaluating a company’s commitment for many stakeholders.

While most companies considered present their sustainability strategies, few connect it to their mission or vision (29%), and even fewer prevent substantiating case studies (21%). This is definitely an area in which Swiss companies need to invest far more to see good results. Some however, have been able to stand out particularly in this area, with Nestlé and Roche at the top of this list, followed by Sika, and Swisscom.

Storytelling: from nice tales to substantive narration

In the past few years, words such as “storytelling”, “brand journalism”, and “content marketing” are on everybody’s lips.

Storytelling elements fare relatively high within Swiss corporate communication standards. In fact, about 68% of companies use stories to develop their company themes on a deeper level. However, 6 companies out of the 28 evaluated present no narrative content, such as articles, case studies, or stories that assist the user-stakeholder to better understand the company.

Notwithstanding this significant attention to storytelling, it is far rarer to find companies with stories in the fullest sense of the word. Many in fact present stories massed together with other articles and news items. Nestlé fares particularly well when it comes to the presentation of stories.

Key elements for successful storytelling

1. ADOPT A FIRST-PERSON POINT OF VIEW: Does content allow us to understand – and see – the company, its work and people? Does it reveal its strategy, mission and purpose?

2. SPEAK TO THE CONTEXT AND HOT ISSUES: Does content address industry topics and the business context? Does it provide a point of view on current issues?

3. THE TECHNICAL EXECUTION: What formats are used for this type of content? How are they integrated into wider corporate communication? Does the digital ecosystem promote this content? Do they provide a human touch?

More than likes: managers as influencers on key corporate topics

With the rapid transmission of digital information, we have grown accustomed to having direct relationships with people, brands, and organizations, and we have gained the ability to follow the faces of those who work “behind the scenes” as a means of humanizing a company.

To generate trust, therefore, it is fundamental for company management to transmit this vision and purpose, and to express a concrete business strategy.

The most followed CEOs are also those that post most frequently about topics related to their company. Novartis’ Vasant Narasimhan and UBS’ Sergio Ermotti reflect this statistic especially well, both CEOs post at least twice a week, and are in fact the only CEOs whose followers hit six figures. Other CEOs with a higher LinkedIn following are Jerome Lambert from Richemont, Christian Mumenthaler from Swiss Re and Gilles Andrier from Givaudan.

Strengths and weaknesses

User experience in service of the narrative

The analysis we conducted alongside Siteimprove allowed us to evaluate the user experience on Swiss corporate sites: elements such as accessibility, loading speed performance, SEO, and the organisation of information in a web page (design interactivity and content structure).

Our checklist for effective communication

  • Clear language
  • Coherent visual content
  • Page design that allows the user to prioritize information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Good mobile user-experience

.trust Italy Listed 2019-2020

Purpose, leadership, storytelling, innovation, Global Sustainable Development Goals have become worn terms in the discussion of the future of the business world. But what concrete meaning do they hold for companies? How can we move forward and create credible communication that helps companies gain the trust of their stakeholders?

We launched our research series “.trust: communicating what matters” to be able to respond to these questions and in so doing guide companies in communicating the most relevant themes of their business and for their stakeholders in an efficient and coherent way.

Published in the Italian monthly Corriere Innovazione, the debut Italian edition for listed companies examined 35 companies that throughout the years have stood out because of their dedication to transparent digital communications. Find out how we selected the companies included.

The scope of this research is to give a meaning to the new trends and provide key elements to take into consideration for effective corporate communication, one that is capable of becoming a tool for the growth of the business.

Key numbers

35 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
170+ subcriteria, distributed into
10 sections in the evaluation protocol

The analysis is focussed on two aspects that we consider to be fundamental in the creation of trust and communication of leadership:

  • Substance: which evaluates the ability to provide a solid and clear vision of the company and their purpose. This aspect creates a common thread between a company’s business strategy, commitment to sustainability, and innovation initiatives. It is fundamental, moreover, that managers and directors reinforce these messages and strengthen company leadership.
  • Distinctiveness: which evaluates how companies present their substantive contents or, more precisely, if they are able to create an engaging narrative that draws in their users and stakeholders. Here we consider elements such as the use of stories or case studies that support the messages, the effectiveness of linguistic and visual communication, the coherent use of social media, and the user experience of the website.

Find out more about how our research works

.trust measures the credibility and the effectiveness of corporate communications, and how much trust it is able to earn.

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Caroline Becker for an offer: caroline.becker@lundquist.it

Key Findings: how do Italian companies stack up?

The .trust research series is organised around two pillars (Substance e Distinctiveness) that contain all essential elements of business communications. With this approach it offers a new interpretation to understand the placement of each company in relation to their peers and competitors.

This is how we have been able to delineate the four quadrants that synthesise the various different approaches to business communication. Read more about the four communicator types.

About one out of four of the companies evaluated fall into the best quadrant (Narrators), as they are able to balance the presentation of a clear corporate vision along with an engaging narrative.

Amongst these best performers, the sectors that stand our in particular are utility and energy sectors, that include companies such as Terna, Italgas, Eni, and Acea. These are companies that have been consolidating their role in Italy for years and, unsurprisingly, this has gone hand in hand with a clear focus on digital corporate communication.

About two companies out of five are floating on the point in which the axes of the four quadrants meet, this central position is an indication of the fact that the company has embarked towards a certain type of communication without having entirely been able to make the final push towards becoming a Narrator.

It is interesting to note that while there is a strong variation in companies’ performance in Substance, when looking at Distinctiveness points appear to be more homogenous, particularly when it comes to the websites’ quality in terms of navigation and user experience.

Find out more about the full results

Strategy and vision as a guide to communication

.trust rewards companies that have been able to demonstrate how their mission or vision is connected with their business, their corporate strategy, and their overall operational methods. To be credible, simple disclosure is no longer enough, rather it is necessary start with substance: concrete facts and data define a company better that any other broad intention.

Companies that are able to balance communication between clarity of the company’s role and ability to engage the public are those that are most convincing.

Strategically grounding sustainability and innovation

Leading companies have presented sustainability strategies and innovation projects that are coherent with their overall business strategy and company mission or vision.

Concrete examples of initiatives and links to articles and stories are fundamental elements in being able to ground these commitments (for example investments in geographical region of interest, circular economy, and digitisation).

Storytelling: from nice tales to substantive narration

To be more engaging for the general public, companies pass through a phase of presenting interesting initiatives to later achieve the concrete and strategic narration that leaves the reader with a sense of impact, innovation, and transformation. The next step is to be able to speak more about the context surrounding businesses and being able to speak in tones that humanize the company.

Narration a company’s vision, taking on hot topics, and creating an engaging story are the three elements that make up the foundations for successful storytelling.

Key elements for successful storytelling

1. Narrating corporate vision and identity

Do the contents allow users to understand (and see) the company, its work, and their people? Do contents highlight a strategic vision and purpose?

2. Narrating context and facing hot topics

Do contents face themes pertinent to the context the business operates in? Do they provide a distinctive point of view on contemporary topics?

3. Execution technique

Which formats have been used for these contents? How have they been integrated in the overall scheme of corporate communication? How has the digital ecosystem been used to its benefit? Is the narration able to engage and incite emotion in its readers?

More than likes: managers as influencers on key corporate topics

For companies that want to take a clear stance and have their voice heard, CEOs and presidents are the flagbearers of company themes, particularly when it comes to social media. Their role within the companies, however, is lacking exposition.

Strengths and weaknesses

User experience in service of the narrative

Gaining public attention is a challenge that plays out on the field of effective content presentation: visual communication, organization of a page’s information (design interactivity and content structure).

OUR CHECKLIST TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

  • Clear language
  • Coherent visual content
  • Page design that allows the user to prioritize information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Good mobile user-experience

.trust Switzerland non-listed 2018-2019

The debut Swiss edition of .trust examined 35 of Switzerland’s largest private, state-owned and family-run businesses.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels and related Wikipedia article.

The evaluation measured companies on two fundamental aspects: Substance (assesses whether the company communicates transparently on topics that matter to stakeholders) and Distinctiveness (assesses the user experience, how the company presents its content and if it manages to convey its corporate narrative effectively).

Read more on how the .trust research works

Key numbers

35 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
2 pillars and
9 sections in evaluation protocol

The results of the first edition of our research are encouraging because they show that Swiss non listed companies are investing in digital communications as a lever for their competitiveness.

Our goal is for .trust to become a guide for companies choosing to use digital not as a way to present a glossy image but as a communications tool to support the business.

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Martina Scapin for an offer: martina.scapin@lundquist.it

Key Findings

Inspiring Trust through Transparency

Expectations towards businesses from the public and corporate stakeholders continues to rise and the trend shows no signs of abating.

Encouragingly, most non-listed companies in Switzerland are presenting content that meets basic stakeholder needs: 77% of the firms evaluated passed our minimum threshold of 40% of the requirements in the Substance pillar to qualify for the next stage of the research, leaving only 8 companies that did not show a minimum level of disclosure.

When compared to the Italian market, which includes several well-known “Made in Italy” brands, the results become even more striking. There, almost double the companies failed to pass to the next level (41% of the 81 companies considered).

Strengths and weaknesses

Inspiring Trust through Leadership 

It’s tough to capture people’s attention with a static, impersonal presentation. Despite this, many companies leave their corporate websites to gather dust and stuck in a set moment in time, demonstrating an inability (or is it unwillingness?) to evolve and open themselves up to the outside world.

Few of the non-listed companies we examined have a strong culture of transparency when it comes to presenting their business plan. While we might expect caution from smaller companies with less visibility, it is surprising that even the larger non-listed companies, active not only in Switzerland but also globally, prefer to keep their future vision and business strategy under wraps, rather than weaving it into their corporate narrative.

Strengths and weaknesses

Inspiring Trust through Storytelling

Stories, articles, videos and blogs: these are just some of the ways companies today are looking to go beyond traditional disclosure in their communications.

As the possibilities grow, we at Lundquist ask ourselves: how can storytelling contribute to a relationship of trust with users and stakeholders? How can stories and articles effectively contribute to projecting the distinctive elements of a company?

Considering we looked at a sample of non-listed companies, it is encouraging to see that well over two-thirds of the Swiss firms that we evaluated for this part of the ranking invest in stories, articles, blogs and other narrative content. This suggests that Swiss companies are seeing the benefit of moving beyond traditional disclosure and engaging in new means to communicate their business.

What topics are most commonly used in stories and articles?

  1. Trends and context
  2. Products/services and business activities
  3. Sponsorships, charity and community
  4. Careers
  5. Sustainability

HOW DO THE COMPANIES STACK UP?

Read more about the four communicator types

The Explainers

The explainers are strong on meeting disclosure needs: they are upfront and transparent with their stakeholders when it comes to presenting the company and reaching out to clients. Engaging effectively with their audiences remains an issue, with facts and data taking the place of emotional connection.

The Narrators

Just over half of the companies that qualified for our Distinctiveness evaluation find themselves in this category. With a well-communicated corporate identity, these companies also maintain a strong presence in social media, providing informative and engaging content to stakeholders. Areas for improvement include offering a clear presentation of their strategic vision and presenting effective and engaging stories.

The Traditionalists

The companies included in this category provide the bare minimum to their stakeholders, lacking open channels of communication and doing little to engage their audiences. Content and messages stick to traditional disclosure and do not covey a distinctive corporate identity.

The Glitterati

Relatively few companies fall into this category. They perform well when it comes to offering a positive user experience but have difficulty in presenting an effective corporate narrative and strategic vision of the company.

.trust Austria non-listed 2018-2019

Published in Horizont, the debut Austrian edition of .trust examined 30 state-, family-owned and privately held companies.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels and related Wikipedia article.

The evaluation measured them on two fundamental aspects: Substance (the key information needed to answer users’ questions about the business) and Distinctiveness (how users are engaged in digital channels).

Read more on how the .trust research works

Key numbers

30 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
2 pillars and
9 sections in evaluation protocol

The results of the first edition of our research are mixed. They show us that many companies are investing in digital communication while other are still lacking basic disclosure information.

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Key Findings

Trust and Transparency

Slightly more than half of the non-listed companies we evaluated in Austria present content meeting basic stakeholder needs: we consider 40% fulfillment of the criteria in the Substance pillar to be the minimum threshold companies must reach in order to meet basic stakeholder needs and qualify for the next stage of the research. Of the companies evaluated, 14 did not provide the minimum level of disclosure.

Overall, Austrian companies score well when it comes to disclosing “about us” information and integrating brand information into the corporate website. They seem to struggle to find their stride when it comes to  sustainability communications, with 20% of companies providing zero information information, among them international brand Red Bull and state-owned Austrian Development Agency.

Strengths and weaknesses

The Role of Leadership in Creating Trust

Few of the non-listed companies we examined have a strong culture of transparency when it comes to presenting their business plan. While we might expect smaller companies to be more cautious in giving visibility to this information, it is surprising that even the larger non-listed companies, active not only in Austria but also globally, seem to prefer to keep their vision for the future of the company and the business strategy under wraps, rather than weaving it into their corporate narrative to construct and support the corporate identity.

Our research suggests that companies leave the commercial side of the business – brands, products and services – to speak for them, rather than constructing a cohesive and engaging corporate narrative (or integrating brand and corporate), leaving stakeholders wondering what the company might have planned for its future. Only a handful of the Austrian non-listed companies we examined actually explain their business strategies though none support the strategy presentation by including specific, concrete goals.

Weaknesses

trust-AT-percentuali-2

Trust in Stories

It is encouraging to see that nearly two-thirds of the Austrian firms that we evaluated for Distinctiveness are investing in stories, articles, blogs and other narrative content. This suggests that Austrian companies understand the benefit of moving beyond  traditional disclosure and are attempting new means of communicating their business. Of the 16 companies considered, 63% use case studies or stories to describe projects and initiatives and communicate their activities, while 44% engage in storytelling via articles, blogs and magazines.

Stories represent a link between the commercial and corporate world and for this reason, it’s important that Austrian non-listed companies are able to ensure that content is accessible and easy to find for different kinds of stakeholders. They seem to have caught on to this, as the navigation and access to information section was the highest-scoring section of the research, at 82%.

What topics are most commonly used in stories and articles?

  1. Business activities, services and products
  2. Trends and business context
  3. Innovation & research
  4. Employees and careers

HOW DO THE COMPANIES STACK UP?

Read more about the four communicator types

The Explainers

The explainers are strong on meeting disclosure needs: they are upfront and transparent with their stakeholders when it comes to presenting the company and reaching out to clients. Engaging effectively with their audiences remains an issue, with facts and data taking the place of emotional connection.

The Narrators

Just over half of the companies that qualified for our Distinctiveness evaluation find themselves in this category. With a well-communicated corporate identity, these companies also maintain a strong presence in social media, providing informative and engaging content to stakeholders. Areas for improvement include offering a clear presentation of their strategic vision and presenting effective and engaging stories.

The Traditionalists

The companies included in this category provide the bare minimum to their stakeholders, lacking open channels of communication and doing little to engage their audiences. Content and messages stick to traditional disclosure and do not covey a distinctive corporate identity.

The Glitterati

Relatively few companies fall into this category. They perform well when it comes to offering a positive user experience but have difficulty in presenting an effective corporate narrative and strategic vision of the company.