In 1988, John Wright co-authored The Public Affairs Handbook: Maximizing Markets, Protecting Bottom Lines that laid out the parameters of persuasion for corporate “public equity”. In the years that followed, he advanced the practice of using survey research to measure the public trust placed in brands, professions, corporations, and NGO’s. In 2007, the Harvard Business Review published Reputation and Its Risks which covered the very concept he’d pioneered almost a decade earlier of using corporate reputation to create public equity to achieve business objectives. In 2010, he began measuring trust and reputation annually in 24 countries.
In 2018, he and communications strategist Victoria Ollers co-founded DART Insight and Communications (“DART I & C”) which specializes in C-Suite communications, and continued to carry out public opinion research on corporate reputation with Maru/Blue, one of Canada’s most respected data collection companies.
What was discovered was that the attribute of Trust, the very cornerstone of corporate reputation for decades, was now substantially eroded, battered by continuous assaults on its very nature by malicious politicians, agenda driven interest groups, and even foreign powers. What the research determined was that the key driver was now the attribute of Respect, with corporate character as a contributing propellant, a virtual echo of the Harvard publication almost forty-five years earlier.
Out of this finding came the establishment in September of 2019 of the Canada’s Most Respected Corporation Program with a centrepiece award for the country’s Most Respected Corporations in each sector as chosen by the Canadian public using survey research.
This award is rooted in social research with a legacy of almost forty-five years in evaluating corporate reputation. It has been earned through a recent sounding of a very large sample of the Canadian public using a rigorous, scientific methodology. The findings for 2020-2021 serve as a true benchmark in a new era where reputation is framed by challenging times and great change. As the currency of public equity, earning respect has never mattered more.