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Does British business feel misunderstood?
What is the Narrative Gap?
 Business leaders often claim their
organisations are not properly
understood
 But how deep is the problem?
 What is the disparity between the story
businesses want to tell and the story
which is heard… or simply not heard at
all?
How wide is the
Narrative Gap?
The Narrative Gap study
 Communications consultancy Powerscourt set
out to understand how misunderstood
corporate Britain believes itself to be
 Interviews were conducted with 100 ExCo
members in FTSE 350 businesses and privately
held businesses with over £100m turnover
 The fieldwork was conducted by Kantar
Millward Brown in February 2018
The seven dimensions of
understanding
Your equity
growth story
The features
& benefits of
your products
& servicesYour
employer
value
proposition
Your
contribution
to society
 We began by identifying the elements which
are found in most corporate narratives
 We call them the seven dimensions of
understanding
 This is what we found…
Listed entities believe themselves to be
poorly understood
 The values in the chart represent the proportion of respondents who said their organisations are VERY
WELL UNDERSTOOD by the relevant audience(s)
 Even the best understood dimension is only 35 per cent while some of the most business-critical
dimensions, including EQUITY GROWTH STORY and STRENGTHS OF OPERATING MODEL, are extremely
low
It’s a similar story for privately held
businesses
Your equity
growth story
The features
& benefits of
your products
& servicesYour
employer
value
proposition
Your
contribution
to society
 The overall average score for listed and privately held businesses is 24 per cent
 In other words, BRITISH BUSINESS BELIEVES ITSELF TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD MOST OF THE TIME
 Superficially, it appears that the narrative gap is more of a narrative chasm
Privately held businesses
 There is no single overriding factor but the most frequently cited cause of poor understanding is
complexity of the operating environment. This was cited by 26 per cent of our sample
So what are the causes of
misunderstanding?
 Over half of the companies we spoke to believe the quality of their people is the differentiator
which is most misunderstood
Human capital is the most
misunderstood differentiator
 Over half of the respondents say they have successfully taken a lead on an industry issue in order to
give themselves a platform to achieve better understanding
Taking a lead helps companies tell their
story more effectively
 The values on the chart represent the proportions of each audience with very good levels of
understanding, according to our respondents. Analysts and principal shareholders are perceived to be
the best informed audiences, but scores are surprisingly low
No audience is perceived to have high
levels of understanding
 Businesses have a moderate risk appetite when it comes to external communication, but a significant
minority reports a very high appetite
Willingness to take a risk in
communications in modest
 Almost six in ten businesses have changed
corporate policies and practices in the past
year in order to reduce reputational risk and
improve their corporate narrative
 Corporate governance and Quality
Assurance/Quality Control were the two
biggest areas where policies had changed
We asked if businesses have changed
their policies to improve reputation
Changed corporate
policies
Not changed
corporate policies
Don’t know
Changes made to policies have a
positive effect on reputation
 Six in ten businesses that had made changes to corporate policies said it had a positive effect
on reputation
Do businesses feel fairly treated by the
media, or foully misunderstood?
 Only 8 per cent of listed entities and 4 per cent of privately held businesses describe their treatment at the
hands of the media as very unfair (bottom two scores combined), while 13 per cent and 26 per cent
respectively said it was very fair (top two scores combined)
In summary
 Businesses do not feel well understood – the narrative gap is more of a narrative chasm
 Complexity the biggest hurdle to understanding
 Equity growth story & operating model are the two least well understood dimensions
 Human capital is the most misunderstood differentiator
 Taking lead on industry issues helps improve understanding
 Corporate Britain may be a little too timid in its approach to communication
So what does the Narrative Gap look
like in your organisation?
 Powerscourt and Kantar Millward Brown have developed a methodology to help you find out
 For more information contact steve.marinker@powerscourt-group.com : 020 7250 1446
The Narrative Gap - Does British Business Feel Misunderstood?

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The Narrative Gap - Does British Business Feel Misunderstood?

  • 1. Does British business feel misunderstood?
  • 2. What is the Narrative Gap?  Business leaders often claim their organisations are not properly understood  But how deep is the problem?  What is the disparity between the story businesses want to tell and the story which is heard… or simply not heard at all? How wide is the Narrative Gap?
  • 3. The Narrative Gap study  Communications consultancy Powerscourt set out to understand how misunderstood corporate Britain believes itself to be  Interviews were conducted with 100 ExCo members in FTSE 350 businesses and privately held businesses with over £100m turnover  The fieldwork was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown in February 2018
  • 4. The seven dimensions of understanding Your equity growth story The features & benefits of your products & servicesYour employer value proposition Your contribution to society  We began by identifying the elements which are found in most corporate narratives  We call them the seven dimensions of understanding  This is what we found…
  • 5. Listed entities believe themselves to be poorly understood  The values in the chart represent the proportion of respondents who said their organisations are VERY WELL UNDERSTOOD by the relevant audience(s)  Even the best understood dimension is only 35 per cent while some of the most business-critical dimensions, including EQUITY GROWTH STORY and STRENGTHS OF OPERATING MODEL, are extremely low
  • 6. It’s a similar story for privately held businesses Your equity growth story The features & benefits of your products & servicesYour employer value proposition Your contribution to society  The overall average score for listed and privately held businesses is 24 per cent  In other words, BRITISH BUSINESS BELIEVES ITSELF TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD MOST OF THE TIME  Superficially, it appears that the narrative gap is more of a narrative chasm Privately held businesses
  • 7.  There is no single overriding factor but the most frequently cited cause of poor understanding is complexity of the operating environment. This was cited by 26 per cent of our sample So what are the causes of misunderstanding?
  • 8.  Over half of the companies we spoke to believe the quality of their people is the differentiator which is most misunderstood Human capital is the most misunderstood differentiator
  • 9.  Over half of the respondents say they have successfully taken a lead on an industry issue in order to give themselves a platform to achieve better understanding Taking a lead helps companies tell their story more effectively
  • 10.  The values on the chart represent the proportions of each audience with very good levels of understanding, according to our respondents. Analysts and principal shareholders are perceived to be the best informed audiences, but scores are surprisingly low No audience is perceived to have high levels of understanding
  • 11.  Businesses have a moderate risk appetite when it comes to external communication, but a significant minority reports a very high appetite Willingness to take a risk in communications in modest
  • 12.  Almost six in ten businesses have changed corporate policies and practices in the past year in order to reduce reputational risk and improve their corporate narrative  Corporate governance and Quality Assurance/Quality Control were the two biggest areas where policies had changed We asked if businesses have changed their policies to improve reputation Changed corporate policies Not changed corporate policies Don’t know
  • 13. Changes made to policies have a positive effect on reputation  Six in ten businesses that had made changes to corporate policies said it had a positive effect on reputation
  • 14. Do businesses feel fairly treated by the media, or foully misunderstood?  Only 8 per cent of listed entities and 4 per cent of privately held businesses describe their treatment at the hands of the media as very unfair (bottom two scores combined), while 13 per cent and 26 per cent respectively said it was very fair (top two scores combined)
  • 15. In summary  Businesses do not feel well understood – the narrative gap is more of a narrative chasm  Complexity the biggest hurdle to understanding  Equity growth story & operating model are the two least well understood dimensions  Human capital is the most misunderstood differentiator  Taking lead on industry issues helps improve understanding  Corporate Britain may be a little too timid in its approach to communication
  • 16. So what does the Narrative Gap look like in your organisation?  Powerscourt and Kantar Millward Brown have developed a methodology to help you find out  For more information contact steve.marinker@powerscourt-group.com : 020 7250 1446