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.
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
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
While we noticed an overall greater number of companies that made it into the Narrators category, there are many others that are still lacking a substantial narrative about their business and sustainability commitments for the future. This is the moment to act.
Covid-19 put companies on centre stage with the whole world watching, and .trust 2020 evolved accordingly. Only 39 companies qualified meaning many others just haven’t woken up to these kinds of challenges.
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:
Changing the conversation
In this year’s edition, we focused on how companies have shifted the conversation in their various digital channels, and how well they were able to ride the wave of this unique moment.
The crisis of 2020 was a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it handed companies new content on which to forge dialogue, but on the other, it forced them to innovate the way in which they relate to their stakeholders. The role of corporate communication has become more all-encompassing – companies had to broaden their circle of responsibility to include a greater variety of stakeholders and not just employees.
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.