UK companies struggle to meet increasing demands for transparency

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The UK’s top companies are failing to meet increased stakeholder demands for online transparency by failing to include sought-after and essential information on their websites. 

New research by leading partner for tech-enabled communications and marketing,  Comprend, which ranks the UK’s top 200 companies through their corporate websites, found UK companies do not have key information desired by including investors, analyst and job seekers. This includes investment proposition as well as sustainability and diversity information. 

The Webranking survey chimes with recent research found that the expectations of companies are at an all-time high among consumers, and that 53% of consumers aged 27-58 assume a brand is doing nothing, or hiding something if it does not communicate its actions to address societal issues.* Similar research found that global executives, on average, attribute 63% of their company’s market value to their company’s overall reputation, highlighting the importance of businesses being seen as a trustworthy source of information.  

Staffan Lindgren, Senior Advisor, Comprend, said: “A corporate website plays an important role as a trustworthy communication channel in today‘s environment, where businesses are expected to be reliable and transparent. It is clear that for businesses to maintain and enhance the trust placed in them by society, they need to address the shortcomings in digital communication.”  

Now in its 27th year, Comprend’s Webranking survey is the largest survey of corporate websites and the only annual survey based on stakeholder expectations. It asks investors, journalists and jobseekers about their expectations when it comes to a company’s corporate website. The UK companies are measured against a set of criteria, based on these stakeholder expectations and then given an overall score.  

This year, the survey found that top UK companies performed particularly poorly when it came to investor relations, fulfilling on average only 26% of criteria to meet stakeholder expectations. Only half (53%) presented an investor case and just 18% presented financial targets. This compared to 28% for European companies.  

 Also Read: Five Marketing Automation Trends to Look for in 2024

For Careers, UK companies performed slightly better, on average, fulfilling almost half (48%) of the criteria, including presenting information about learning and development (63%) and presenting their purpose (80%). But only a quarter of UK companies (26%) present any information about work/life balance and just 36% offer any information about working from home, which is of increasing importance to jobseekers since the Covid pandemic.   

In terms of presenting ESG information, there is a notable gap despite growing stakeholder interest. While companies effectively showcase documents like codes of conduct and tax policies, they fall behind in other important area such as targets and achievements. UK companies fulfil, on average just 43% of the criteria in the Sustainability section and while 72% present environmental targets, only 25% present data on target achievements. 

TalkMartech Bureau
TalkMartech Bureau
TalkMarTech keeps marketing leaders updated with the newest technology innovations, disruptive tech initiatives, and the most relevant MarTech-stack updates and conversations across the globe.   ·.   ·

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