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Home » Americans Focusing on Companies’ Behavior During COVID-19 Crisis

Americans Focusing on Companies’ Behavior During COVID-19 Crisis

by | Apr 9, 2020

FTI Consulting, Inc., announced the results of a new U.S. national survey, titled Shifting Expectation, that finds Americans are attuned to how companies are behaving during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  FTI Consulting’s news release on their survey follows:

The Strategic Communications segment at D.C.-based FTI Consulting conducted a survey among a nationally representative sample of American adults between March 25-30. The survey was designed to understand a range of attitudes and behaviors related to personal finances, economic expectations, and the response from businesses and governments across the country.

Most notably, the report found Americans are closely watching how companies are managing and responding to COVID-19 implications:

  • 83% are paying more attention than usual to “leaders/CEOs stepping up to help those in need,” (46% say they are paying “much more attention than usual”)
  • 86% say they are paying more attention than usual to “how companies care for their employees’ safety and well-being,” (47% say they are paying “much more attention than usual”)
  • 78% are paying more attention than usual to “how companies are paying or retaining their employees,” (40% say they are paying “much more attention than usual”)
  • 82% are paying more attention than usual to “how companies treat their customers,” (45% say they are paying “much more attention than usual”)
  • 71% are paying more attention than usual to “how and where companies source their products and supply chains,” (35% say they are paying “much more attention than usual”)

“The data from our survey clearly indicates that Americans are closely watching the actions of corporate leaders,” said Brent McGoldrick, a Senior Managing Director within the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting. “In this highly scrutinized environment, it is critical management teams demonstrate leadership and humanity, and most important, do right by their employees, customers and communities alike.”

The survey also finds that Americans have increased their activity on social media and are sharing both positive and negative stories of business leaders during this crisis. Specifically:

  • 50% of social media users have “significantly increased” their social media activity
  • 30% of social media users have “posted about a business/ leader going above and beyond”
  • 8% of social media users have “posted about a business/ leader not doing the right thing”

These findings confirm Americans’ heightened attention to companies’ behavior during this crisis. With the opportunity for a simple post to crumble a company’s reputation, companies must proactively communicate the actions they are taking to protect employees, customers and partners. Brian Kennedy, Head of the Americas for the Strategic Communications segment, added, “Companies who are honest and transparent with stakeholders during this time will be rewarded.”

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • Americans are very concerned about their personal health and their personal finances.
    • 76% are concerned about their personal health (39% are very concerned).
    • 75% are concerned about their personal finances (42% are very concerned).
  • Some new behaviors are likely to last even after the immediate crisis passes.
    • 65% say they are likely to cook at home more frequently (36% say they are very likely).
    • 64% say they are likely to regularly deep clean their home (31% say they are very likely).
    • 51% say they are likely to use telehealth services such as consulting doctors via video (20% say they are very likely).
  • For the most part, employees rate fairly highly the job their employers are doing communicating with them.
    • 71% rate their employers “excellent or good” on showing “concern for your health and safety.”
    • 67% rate their employers “excellent or good” on communications related to the “future of the company you work for.”
    • 65% rate their employers “excellent or good” on communications related to “health benefits available to you.”
    • The lowest ratings come on communications related to “potential furloughs or staff reductions.” On this front, 51% rate their employers “excellent or good,” while 37% rate their employers “fair or poor.”

Complete survey results can be found at fticommunications.com.

About the Author

Capitol Communicator

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.

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