Whats the story

  • 25 May 2012 16:34
G4S has been chosen as one of the top FTSE 100 companies when it comes to telling its corporate story in a review by Radley Yeldar the leading corporate communications agency
G4S Logo

G4S is delighted to have been included in the Top 10 companies as part of this study, alongside major B2C and B2B brands like Unilever, Sky and GlaxoSmithKline.

The “What’s the Story?” review was carried out in February and March this year and looked closely at FTSE 100 corporate websites, social media channels as well as corporate and social responsibility reports – measuring them against a number of best-practice criteria.

The way in which G4S tells it’s story impressed the panel of communications experts, who commented on the way G4S makes “...a strong case as to how much added value [it’s] essential services add to both business and society” and that “it’s told in a style that brings [G4S] into every aspect of our daily fabric”.
Of particular interest to the judges was the way in which G4S’s communications explains “...how G4S protects us in a whole variety of ways, from delivering our pay packets to keeping us comfortable in airports”.

G4S published its printed and online Annual Report and CSR Report in March 2012 and has worked hard to tell stakeholders about the services it provide and the benefits it offers through appropriate channels.

Mike Oliver, Head of Brand at Radley Yeldar commented: “Those companies that made the top ten answer a need. They offer context, purpose, differentiation and credibility. A few are even visionary. They are, however, the exception and not the rule”.

The methodology behind the study

Once the FTSE 100 had been put through the rigour of the quantitative research and analysis, the top 20 were put in-front of a panel of communications experts to establish the FTSE 100’s ten best corporate storytellers.

Over a three-hour debate, the panel were asked to assess companies based on the following criteria: Does the story talk with personality? Is it memorable? Does it leave you wanting to know more? Does it connect with you emotionally? Does it make you want to share the story with others?

Focusing initially on the corporate website, seven key questions were asked to assess which of the FTSE 100 are telling competent corporate stories. The questions included: Is the story easy to access? Is it clear? Does it say what makes them different? Does the story tell us why we should tell them?

As well as looking at the quality of the story – including the language used – the study also assessed companies for the consistency of their storytelling i.e. Are the FTSE 100 telling the same story across all communication channels? It also explored sustainability reports; moving image plus the key social media channels: LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Key findings:

  • More than 50% of the FTSE 100 fail to tell a consistent story across the corporate website and sustainability and corporate reports
  • 51 of the FTSE 100 fail to explain what makes them different 
  • Only 21 companies tell a consistent story across all social media channels used 
  • Just 61 of the FTSE 100 have video anywhere on their website and only 21 of these features on the homepage 
  • ‘Global’ and ‘leading’ are the most-used superlatives 
  • Over 1/3 of the 66 companies producing separate sustainability reports do not have a corporate story within the report 
  • Sharp rise in YouTube usage – up 14% to 46 – however they are mostly poorly executed and often not linked to the main .com site 
  • Healthcare and Support Services are the top performing sectors 
  • Basic Materials and Financial Services are the poorest performing sectors

The top performers:

Other companies who reached the top 10 included (in no particular order)

  • British American Tobacco 
  • Sky 
  • Diageo 
  • GlaxoSmithKline 
  • Legal & General 
  • Morrisons 
  • Pearson 
  • Shire 
  • Unilever
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