A two-sided challenge for Italian digital corporate communications: improving overall transparency and inspiring trust
In the 18th edition of the Webranking research, covered exclusively by L’Economia del Corriere della Sera found that Italy has improved vis-à-vis its European counterparts.
The Italian edition of Webranking research is conducted by Lundquist in collaboration with Comprend. To read how the individual companies compare download our whitepaper below. It evaluated the 112 largest listed companies in Italy to see what they were communicating on their corporate websites and how they are working to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders and inspire trust.
Italian companies continue their steady path of improvement
Companies that surpass the stress test of transparency continue to grow: one company out of every three earns over 50 points out of the maximum of 100, the basic score to be able to satisfy stakeholder needs. Three years ago one a quarter of the companies passed the test.
Through a protocol that includes over 200 measuring points, Webranking evaluates transparency in the communication of financial, corporate governance, sustainability data, and overall company information. All this while taking into consideration the real expectations of stakeholders, which have been assessed thanks to surveys conducted every year.
This year the bar has been set higher, and website evaluations have become stricter. This has brought to a significant decrease in the European average (-2.1 points) while Italian companies were comparatively better able to respond to new challenges, losing only 0.7 points on average. This confirms that the commitment of Italian companies to digital transparency is deep and continuing.
Italian companies have taken a giant step in the last few years to demonstrate their market value. Now the bar has been set higher, and it is no longer enough to be transparent, but it is fundamental for companies to transmit their strategic vision and substantiate their commitments to be able to garner more trust from their stakeholders.
Joakim Lundquist, CEO Lundquist
Best improver: Acea is the best improver out of all companies assessed by Webranking 2019-2020
11 companies have improved more than ten points, and Acea, with a 43.5-point increase, had set the yearly record, followed by Autogrill, Maire Technimont, Coima Res and Saras.
Italy’s best improvers of Webranking 2019-2020
From rankings to ratings
Webranking’s end goal is not to present a ranking of the best and worst companies, but to encourage and a culture of transparency that alters companies’ rapport with their stakeholders. This is precisely why this year we decided to present the results in range of transparency rather a simple numeric ranking, by dividing the companies into classes of performance. An impressive seven companies have reached excellence and have been awarded the highest of reputations (5 stars), and ten have entered the second tier (4 stars).
Italian companies have received 5-star results (over 80 points out of 100). These include Eni, Snam, Hera, Terna, Generali and Pirelli which are all companies that have often been on the podium, with the addition this year of Poste Italiane. Cattolica and Italgas are also getting closer to achieving such heights.
Italian companies dominate European transparency rankings
The stress test for corporate communications transparency reveals an impressive standing for Italian companies in the ranking of the 500 largest European companies by market cap: 5 Italian companies have secured a place in the Top 10. These results emerge from the 23rd edition of Webranking research by Comprend, in collaboration with Lundquist, with 23 Italian companies included in the Europe 500 list.
Eni and Snam wear their crowns proudly, topping the list in first and second place respectively, followed by the Finnish company Wärtsilä. Terna jumped to 4th place, and Generali stands firmly at 5th. Poste Italiane edges on up to 9th place with a 9-point increase from last year. Leonardo on the other hand had an t increase from last year, with the top 10 just barely out of their reach. In the first 25 positions we can also find Prysmian and Mediobanca.
The bar has been set higher: not only transparency, but the ability to create a convincing narrative for company strategy and commitment.
Italian results are now aligned in many ways with European standards and results in the ranking. However, with a more detailed lens, the fact that Italian companies have outperformed the European average in reporting becomes apparent (the presentation of the company, corporate communications, and yearly reports). They fall behind, however, when it comes to the presentation of a company strategy and investment story, or when it comes to the presentation of their commitment to sustainability and their careers sections.
These are the elements that come into play in the competition for credibility amongst stakeholders, which is at the heart of the new Lundquist research series .trust, which will be published next week. Only companies that have been able to pass the stress test (50 points and above) in Webranking have gained access to our new research series, which this year have amounted to 35 Italian companies.
How Webranking can help you to improve
The Webranking analysis allows you to define solutions to improve your digital presence, understand digital trends, compare to peers, generate internal engagement, and identify pathways for future improvement.
For further information about the research, to receive the highlights with the score per areas and to order a tailored, interactive report, please contact:
Greta Castelli, email@example.com