051003 storting crown prince's crown

The beauty award this year goes to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), followed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Unicef. The lowest reputation scores, however, were received by International Olympic Committee and NATO. Not surprising at all ! You should not expect that military and sport organizations would have been ranked higher than that, especially when their image is closely related to the general image of the services they offer and the image the places where their headquartered are based. Being accountable is also a tough task for most corporations as they fail to deploy effective policies and active management systems.

The Contest: According to the latest survey of One World Trust (a British Think Tank), the IFOAM, along with 29 other powerful organizations, have been assessed in terms of their accountability to stakeholders and wider public. The scope of the research was based on the assessment of four major criteria such as transparency, participation with outsiders, evaluation and complains handling. Turns out that none of the companies actually managed to score higher than 70 percent accountability which is very low and insufficient result. The official report also states:

A score of 70 percent indicates that an organisation has policies in place that meet only some good practice principles and the basic management systems to support their implementation. This is the floor, not the ceiling, of accountability capabilities. If global organisations are to be part of the solution to global challenges, there needs to be a step change in their approaches to accountability. They need to start implementing the more challenging accountability reforms which truly empower external stakeholders to hold an organisation to account. Organisations must also take the necessary steps to embed accountability in their culture and ensure it is being translated into practice.

The other interesting conclusion that has been made is that all of the evaluated companies failed to show good scores (more than 50 percent) in their transparency policies and complaint handling procedures. It is funny that Transparency International (a global organization that tries to fight corruption) takes one of the lowest positions in this chart. Why is this so important? Well, from a Black PR perspective, these are pretty severe vulnerabilities. If an attacker manage to hack into the corporate complaint tracking software and steals all of the important data, he can easily turn that into a massive negative campaign. The affected organization will be not only caught into a very awkward situation, but it will be unable to respond properly to the increasing flow of stakeholders complaints. This also leads to intense media attention and general public dissatisfaction.

One more thing – I did a little research on my own and I found out that the Google Page Ranks of the less accountable organizations is way higher than the the Page Rank of the organizations on the top of the list. However, if you type their name and the word reputation into the search box, you will find that the first couple of pages are filled with negative publications and comments . I guess popularity is not always proportionally related to the general stakeholders’ respect.