Covid-19, global trade fears and corporate reputation

Covid-19 and global trade fears challenge UK corporate reputations, valued at more than £900 billion

Shell, BP, Unilever and Diageo post strongest reputation contributions

The gross value of reputation in FTSE350 companies at the start of 2020 reached £941 billion, supporting 35% of the total market capitalisation, according to Reputation Dividend’s UK 2020 Report, launched end of February.

This is down from previous years, impacted by the emergence of Covid-19 and world trade uncertainty during the Brexit transition and a rancorous US election.

According to Reputation Dividend Founder Simon Cole, “while these are big numbers, the impact of the confidence inspired by reputation has declined. Analysis shows that investors are looking for harder evidence of how companies will succeed in the months and years to come.  As an asset, reputation is in the eye of the beholder, and it may well be in the eye of the storm currently as investors seek shelter in a nervous market.”

Reputation Dividend Director Sandra Macleod added: “the key drivers of reputation value are clearly the ‘table stakes’ of financial soundness, quality of management and quality of goods and services.  Beyond that, while it differs across sectors and individual companies, drivers of incremental value are focusing now on innovation and global competitiveness.”

The UK 2020 Report quantifies the contribution of corporate reputation to the UK’s largest listed companies expressed as the Reputation Contribution or proportion of a company’s market cap attributable to the confidence inspired by its reputation and lists the companies with the 10 most economically influential reputation assets. This is 12th year since tracking began and has been used by boardrooms of leading organisations to benchmark and support prioritisation of operational and narrative messages to protect and grow the value of the intangible asset that is reputation. Reputation Dividend is the only recognised index of the financial value of corporate reputation as measured as a percentage of market capitalisation.

The full study is available here.

Sandra Macleod will take part in a special session at the Global Communication Summit 2020 on Reputation, Behaviour and Crisis with Carlo Parrado Curros, Global Head of Crisis Management at Shell: see the programme for more details.

Hype or hope?

Learn how to adapt agile practices for integrated corporate communication and public affairs

Are you looking to apply agile practices to corporate communication and public affairs? If so, Kirstin Simons and Ernst Weijers’ session at the Global Communication Summit 2020 will be required viewing.

Together, Kirstin and Ernst will share how the Corporate Affairs Team at energy company Essent adapted agile practices by applying Scrum practices to , and the steep learning curve involved. From breaking down silos to delivering more impactful campaigns, from project vision to Sprint meetings, Kirstin and Ernst break down the agile journey, step by step.

In 2018, the corporate communications and public affairs function at Essent co-created a new functional strategy to support its overall ambition to be the number one in energy for everybody in the Netherlands. The functional strategy consisted of five initiatives:

  1. Foster internal engagement and strategy alignment
  2. Reposition the brand towards new products and services
  3. Protect and enhance the reputation of Essent
  4. Support the launch of new products and services
  5. Drive functional excellence within Corporate Affairs

The leadership team of the corporate communications and public affairs function soon realised that in order to be able to deliver its plans more efficiently and effectively, it needed to change its way of working. More specifically, the team wanted to: a) co-create its plans with the business in order to be able to contribute to shared goals; b) use the expertise of all functional experts within Corporate Affairs to make sure its campaigns were relevant for all stakeholders; and c) deliver campaigns with more speed and creativity and learn from mistakes in order to be able to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of an increasingly complex stakeholder and digital channel landscape.

Many corporate communication directors face similar challenges amid increasing business pressure and stakeholder complexity. Can agile help tackling parts of these problems? For the Corporate Affairs team at Essent, it seemed worth a try. Find out more about their one-year journey to becoming more agile, and take home lessons to apply to your own comms and/or corporate affairs team, by joining Kirstin and Ernst at the Global Communication Summit.

Kirstin Simons


Kirstin Simons is Director of Corporate Affairs at Dutch energy supplier Essent (part of Innogy, one of Europe’s largest renewable energy players). She is responsible for communication and public affairs in the Netherlands and Belgium. Before joining Essent, Kirstin worked as Communications Director at AkzoNobel.

Ernst Weijers


Ernst Weijers is Senior Consultant at Innovation Booster. He has led various product and service innovation development and change management efforts together with clients from F500 companies in the FMCG, Retail, Energy & Gas, Banking, Chemical, Staffing and Insurance industries.