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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Tuesday 31 March, 2015 6:25 am |


-‘The Reputation Index’ investigates the value of corporate
reputation in today’s business world & the factors that influence it -

Nearly four out of five senior executives across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, consider their company’s corporate reputation as “extremely important” and this figure rises to 95% when those who ranked it as “important” were also included, according to a new report from global communications consultancy Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K). Eighty two percent of those interviewed also said that their company’s reputation was linked to their bottom line and overall business success.

H+K’s new report - The Reputation Index – draws on unique research undertaken in collaboration with YouGov, the global opinion research firm. In addition to examining the importance that senior executives place on their corporate reputation, it also looks at the ways they assess their reputation, the factors they feel drive corporate reputation, who in a company has the most influence on reputation and the value of a strong reputation when facing a crisis.

Key report findings:

• In order to assess corporate reputation, senior decision makers stated customer feedback mechanisms and customer face-to-face meetings as most useful

• 84% of senior executives “agreed” with the statement that a strong reputation can help a company recover quickly in a crisis

• When asked which factor – other than financial performance – steered reputation, one factor stood out clearly in all three markets: quality of management

• Findings were generally consistent across the three Gulf markets - with just one small exception. In Qatar, workplace culture and media commentary were seen as significant in driving reputation (alongside quality of management and leadership) while in the UAE and Saudi Arabia these two factors were seen as having less influence

Commenting on the report, Sconaid McGeachin, President & CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, states:

“Senior decision makers across The Gulf clearly recognise how important - and critical - a strong corporate reputation is in today’s highly competitive, highly transparent and fast moving business environment. This is especially true as the eyes of the world are increasingly focused on the region thanks to thriving business sectors and a booming overall economy – and as we gear up to hosting the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Reputation impacts all elements of business, from recruitment to re-financing – and this is appreciated by senior executives.

Nurturing a solid corporate reputation is both an art and a science and the key drivers of building a strong reputation were an interesting element of the report findings. Senior executives felt quality of management and leadership steer reputation significantly. Other still important factors flagged were related to corporate transparency and ability to deliver on expectations.”

The research involved 422 C-Suite senior executives across The Gulf - over half were UAE based, 42% were in Saudi Arabia and 6% were in Qatar.


About Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the Middle East

Headquartered in New York and founded more than 80 years ago, Hill+Knowlton Strategies is today a global communications consultancy with 87 offices across 49 countries.

H+K was the first international communications consultancy to establish operations in the Middle East. It established its first office in the region in Bahrain in February 1985 - 30 years ago this year.

Over the last 30 years in the region, H+K has significantly grown and developed its team. Today it employs more than 120 consultants based in fully owned, established and vibrant offices in eight cities across the region - in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Manama, Kuwait City and Cairo. It also has an extensive associate network.

H+K provides services to local, multinational and global clients, and is part of WPP, one of the world's largest communications services groups.

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