Another thing we learned in Miami was how corporations are viewed in various countries according to various Roper studies. John Gilfeather presented the results of two studies ( Download iprrc_2006_gilfeather.ppt) by his firm GfK NOP. The first study was an internet-based survey in 13 countries. The second was based on a much broader study of 1000 in-person interviews in each of 30 countries.
Respondents were asked how they characterized most large corporations according to their “personality” traits included such descriptors as: Strong, trustworthy, greedy but friendly. The results do not bode well for big business. In Canada most corporations were seen as arrogant, in the US they were seen as deceitful. Only in Asia were companies given positive monitors such as fun and caring. The study also asked whether organizations were doing too much or too little or just the right amount in various areas. Half said companies were doing too little to protect the environment, jobs, giving back and disclosing. However, the result varied considerably from country to country. Mexico was high on equal opportunity. But in the US 71% said US corporations were doing too little to protect jobs. In the UK 12% said they were doing too much to protect society The bottom-line: If you’re doing corporate PR you're facing a very cynical populace. The other conclusion is that America ’s place in the world economy is shakier that it has been a long time. Trust in big business at an all time low and while globalization of brands seen as a good worldwide, Americanization of cultures is seen as bad. This is proven out by the comparison of reputation in US vs. non-US brands. The largest gains in brand power are in non-US brands, and many of the US ’s most iconic brands are declining in terms of brand power.