Behind the scenes.
How we selected the brands.
We selected 50% of the top 20 consumer brands and compared them with disruptors in their respective market places. We cannot claim to audit a ‘representative’ sample of UK brands as this will run into the 100s, instead we picked a randomised sample to reduce any bias.
To ensure comparability, qualifying brands need to share the following commonalities:
Large organisations with a profile in the UK
B2C or B2many rather than B2B
In-house external communications function
Have a marketing & communications budget
Established social media channels to communicate and engage with their external audiences
The focus of this review is on private sector consumer brands. Future ‘State of Brands reviews’ will address public and third sector organisations and see how they fare against the new engagement index Brægen created.
How we arrived at the scoring system.
We devised a weighting-based scoring system for each criterion in the Dialogic Engagement Index we’ve created. This was then used to score how each brand fares. We then scored each brand’s PR & Marketing strategy on a sliding scale from 0 to 10 (0 being: No evidence of a strategic effort or campaigns to become dialogic to 10: Dialogic ethos built into the PR & Marketing strategy). Both scores were then added to award each brand its final score. All those involved in the voting process have no direct or indirect association or are in direct competition to the brands. We then audited the social media channels and PR & Marketing strategies of each brand using the scoring system.
Social media channels
The leading channel was selected for each brand, either Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – whichever has the highest number of followers and posts and influence - and audited all posts and tweets for each brand. This was a deep dive review for a period of 6 months taken during one of the busiest periods in the PR & Marketing calendar in terms of brand activities and therefore representative of how each brand communicates and engages with their external target audiences.
Social media has become the window to the soul of a brand’s external communications strategy and approach. If there is evidence of any dialogic engagement, social media would be aligned and integrated into that strategy and overarching approach.
PR & Marketing strategies
We examined publicly-available information about each company’s strategies in reaching out to the public to gain a better understanding of how dialogic they are. Each brand received a score on a sliding scale from ‘no evidence of dialogic engagement’ to ‘high levels’ and assigned a total score.