Celebrating 22 years of the research, the European edition of Webranking reports on the current state of digital corporate communications. The research, conducted by Lundquist in collaboration with Comprend, evaluated 500 of the largest European companies included in the EuroStoxx 600.
This year’s podium welcomes back the three top performers in last year’s ranking, albeit in a slightly different order. Italian energy company Eni takes first place with 93.2 points, followed by Finnish industrial goods and services company Wärtsilä with 92.5 points. Snam, last year’s winner, moves down two places to take third place with 91.3 points.
Swiss performance in a European context
Nearly 80% of the companies considered in the individual country research are also considered in the Europe 500 research (41 out of 55), showing that corporate Switzerland continues to be well represented amongst the largest companies on the Continent. The Swiss average of 52.7 points is 5.5 points above the overall average of the Europe 500 research, which averages at 45.7, and a notable improvement from last year’s Swiss average, which came in at 47.4.
Average score increase of the Swiss cohort in the European research in 2018 and 2017
As the criteria in the protocol are based upon the needs and expectations of stakeholders – through annual surveys of investors, journalists and jobseekers – half of the maximum score (50 points out of 100) is considered the threshold at which companies respond adequately to user demand.
We’ve termed this the transparency stress test: companies that receive 50 points or more have passed, those that achieve between 30-50 points are in the “held back category” and those that score below 30 have failed. This year’s results show that 2 (5%) companies did not meet the demands of stakeholders and thus failed the stress test (Swatch Group and BB Biotech), leaving 14 in the held back category (34%) and 25 (61%) companies that have passed, an impressive result!
The best Swiss performers this year were Swisscom (83.4), Sonova (77.2), Sika (73.1), Givaudan (67.5), Barry Callebaut (66.1) and Zurich Insurance Group (64.2). Of these, all of them managed to make it into the top 50, while Swisscom (8), Sonova (11) and Sika (14) placed among the top fifteen most transparent companies in Europe for stakeholder communications.
TOP 10 EUROPE 500: WEBRANKING BY COMPREND 2018
Strengths & Weaknesses
Looking at their performance in the various sections of the research, Swiss companies exceed the European average in all areas. Strong points include homepage communications, the about us section, reporting and UX, while weak points remain those connected to financial transparency beyond reporting and governance.
Top Swiss performers in key areas of the research (European edition)
- Presenting the company – Swisscom
- Press – Barry Callebaut
- Financial communications (includes investor relations, reporting and information for shareholders) – Swisscom
- Governance – Givaudan
- Sustainability – Swisscom
THE 41 SWISS COMPANIES INCLUDED IN THE WEBRANKING BY COMPREND EUROPE 500 RANKING
The stellar results mark a turning point
Swiss companies have now reached a good level of disclosure on their digital platforms, and it is now
time to raise the bar. The challenge for Swiss companies now is not only to engage in transparent communication, but to ensure that an emotional connection is made through content to boost engagement with different audiences. In this, corporate communication plays an essential role.
Our goal is to support companies in this new phase, shifting the focus from dry disclosure to effective communication. Companies need to be able to create a coherent and convincing narrative, supported by objectives and backing intentions with clear actions. It is no longer enough to present who the company is today, but instead where the company is going, providing a clear vision of the future.
For this reason, we have launched our new research .trust (pronounced “dot trust”) which evaluates the companies’ ability to effectively narrate their brand and business, to communicate their leadership and establish trust with their stakeholders. The first edition of .trust focuses on the largest Swiss state-owned and private companies, and continues on from our research of non-listed companies (to be published shortly). The research will be rolled out to Swiss listed companies in the latter half of 2018. Our focus is to capture the ability of corporate communications to support’ competitiveness and to inspire trust, today’s business “currency.”