Businesses identify hit to reputation as major risk but lack plan for managing it

Around half of businesses have a plan for identifying and tackling reputational risk, significantly fewer than the 85% of those that said they did the year previously according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

The third biannual Business Leaders Survey – delivered by global market research agency, 3Gem – compares the responses of 300 business leaders from December 2022 with responses from the previous year.

It finds that while concerns about reputation remain in the top three risks for over 40% of businesses, around one-in-three businesses say they have no plan for identifying and tackling reputation risk and over a quarter have no crisis communication plans. However, there has been a significant rise in those looking to hire PR staff or external support.

CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith Chart. PR, FCIPR

It is disappointing to see that over a quarter of businesses from across the UK who responded to this survey are not actively planning to mitigate reputation risks and crises, and around a third do not retain PR support either in-house or through external consultancy. Reputation is both a risk and an opportunity. In an economic downturn, businesses need to be ever more attuned to how they are perceived by stakeholders and the tangible insights that can bring for operational success and sustainability. 

Encouragingly, over 90% of companies plan to hire PR employees or agencies in the next six months and should be using their counsel to enhance corporate reputation.

CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith Chart. PR, FCIPR

The CIPR Business Leaders Survey is repeated twice a year and tracks business confidence, plans to recruit, the importance placed on the reputation of their businesses, training needs, and more. The full data results are available exclusively to CIPR members.


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with over 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).