The Critical | Brunswick

The Critical

A new series focused on the intersection of business and politics

New data shows the organizational impulse to weigh in on any and every social issue is disregarded by audiences, disconnected from what people want and even diminishing to corporate reputation.

In a highly complex civic, socio-economic and communications environment, there is enormous pressure on organizations to respond to everything that is happening.

The net result is ever-more engagement from companies, but based on new research from Brunswick that surveyed corporate executives and 2020 voters, the efforts are all-too-often disbelieved as authentic — by people across every part of the political and socio-economic spectrum.

We have identified this as “The Talking Trap,” and it requires ethical and commercial alignment and an acknowledgement that increasing civic complexity requires a more strategically thoughtful framework for engagement across your widest range of stakeholders. Click here to download The Critical now.

Among our key findings:
Only a minority of voters (36%) agree unequivocally that companies should speak out on social issues, compared to 63% of corporate executives

Corporate executives have a highly inflated sense of how effective corporate communication has been on social issues compared to voters.

What this means
While there is no easy answer on how to approach an increasingly difficult environment, we believe that companies can start by:

  • Having a grounded strategy to address these issues
  • Having a thoughtful framework for deciding how and when to weigh in
  • Engaging with internal and external DEI expertise
  • Ensuring any contribution to wider social engagement is actionable.

Read The Critical to see the data and our recommendations to avoid this Catch-22. Submit your details below for the full report.