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How a recent CBI report shows how the public wants businesses to contribute more to society

Nearly everyone (92%) wants businesses to speak out on key issues impacting society, according to research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) tracking public attitudes towards business. The report calls for increased focus on gender-pay reporting, GDPR and discusses how Brexit has encouraged businesses to speak more openly about the challenges they face. 

However the bad news is that fewer people now have faith in businesses as only around (56%) believe the reputation of business is good, which is a drop of 9% since October last year.

The CIPR issued a press report welcoming the findings of the report and Sarah Hall, president of CIPR, talked to PRmoment about how PROs can help improve how businesses conduct themselves:

“Public relations professionals have a vital role to play in shaping the public’s perception of business. But that starts with ensuring businesses operate ethically and transparently. Accountable leadership is key. 

“As PR professionals, we are uniquely positioned to advise businesses on corporate governance and the need for social purpose. We are the eyes and ears of our organisations and must ensure stakeholders are front and centre of activity at all times. It’s our responsibility to hold the mirror up to the C-suite and encourage them to consider the potential impact before any decisions are taken.

“It’s encouraging to see that eight out of ten employees report a positive relationship with their employers. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift towards employee engagement.”

Hall ends on another positive note, discussing how in-house PROs can improve how businesses work: “A considered approach to internal communication leads to improved moral amongst staff which in turn, boosts productivity.”  


Everyone’s Business Tracker: Public Attitudes Report represents the results of research conducted by Opinium Research for the CBI and PR firm Porter Novelli, between 29 to 31 May 2018. Opinium conducted an online survey of 2,007 UK adults. The sample has been weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience. The figures which reference the views of employees represent responses from 1237 UK adults.

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