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New Survey: American Customers Want Companies To Focus On Employee Investment, Not Politics

Businesses’ Missions Should Emphasize Centrist Image & Workers In 2020

ARLINGTON, VA – A national survey released today by PLUS Communications and GS Strategy Group finds that heading into a divisive presidential election year, customers want businesses to focus on taking care of their employees over pursuing politically-motivated social campaigns.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. customers found that “[c]ompanies can prove their commitment to putting people over profits by showing how they treat employees,” and that “[c]ompanies should stay neutral, not cater to the far left or right.  Having a centrist image is key to maintaining or developing a positive image among customers.”

“This new research shows that companies can boost their image, even in today’s polarizing political climate, by focusing on employee well-being,” said PLUS Communications Managing Partner Danny Diaz.  “Smart companies should take advantage of the booming economy to take care of their employees, not cater to the politics of the moment.”

“Despite what some talking heads might have you believe, our research shows that companies would do well to steer clear of politically divisive social campaigns,” added GS Strategy Group President Greg Strimple.  “Investing in employees is a critical way for companies to show customers they have placed a premium on the right priorities.”

Key Findings:

  • Customers are nearly twice as concerned about their economic future (58 percent) than how they are doing currently (31 percent); nearly half saying they think about their future situation very often (48 percent).
  • Overwhelmingly, customers believe the top corporate responsibility measure is employee benefits and wages.  
  • But by a 56 to 7 percent margin, customers believe businesses prioritize profits over fair compensation for employees.
  • Not only do customers want companies to take action to prioritize employees, customers trust businesses to be more effective at ensuring their financial well-being than politicians. By a 51 to 32 margin, Americans believe the business community will be more successful than Congress when it comes to addressing challenges, such as ensuring employees’ financial security.
  • Customers are tired of political correctness – 81 percent agree it has gone too far.

Strategic Takeaways:

  • Taking care of employees appeals to left-of-center customers.
  • Creating a sense of balance between concern for profit and concern for customers improves a company’s image.
  • Companies are strongest when seen as non-partisan. The more they are viewed as neither aligned with the Republican nor Democratic parties, the better their image.    

About the Survey:

PLUS Communications and GS Strategy Group recently conducted a national survey of U.S. customers assessing American demand for corporate responsibility and political engagement.  The survey, which was conducted online in December 2019, interviewed 1,000 customers and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

About GS Strategy Group:

GS Strategy Group combines expertise in both research and the application of research to communications and public affairs decision-making.  Our specialty is designing research instruments from a communicator’s point-of-view, with the specific goal of gaining knowledge that is actionable – not just interesting.  We design our research tools for the express purpose of predicting trends and shifts before they occur – allowing us to provide an in-depth analysis of the behavior behind individual decision-making processes.   By asking the target audience what they know and how they behave, we identify those subgroups with whom we can have productive conversations to build a positive public image around a concept or movement.  All data is analyzed at the macro and micro levels to best inform future decisions about communications and outreach efforts.  This behavioral approach to research gives us an unparalleled way of assessing the environment and developing the strategy, tactics and targeted messages that will yield the best results.

To learn more about GS Strategy Group, click here.

About PLUS Communications:

Founded in 2011 by three of the nation’s top political and public affairs strategists, PLUS Communications is a Beltway-based consulting firm specializing in campaign management, media relations, coalition building, award-winning paid advertising, cutting-edge digital engagement, crisis communications, litigation support and message development.  Distinguished for a campaign-style approach, the firm employs more than 100 professionals, including more than one dozen partners with unrivaled experience advising Fortune-500 companies, trade associations and non-profit organizations across a host of industries.

PLUS Communications has received many of the highest accolades in the communications industry, including PRWeek’s Best in Public Affairs and Best for a Cause awards – in addition to being named a finalist in 2019 for “Outstanding Midsize Agency” – and Holmes Report Gold SABRE’s Best in Public Affairs and Best in Telecommunications.

To learn more about PLUS Communications, click here.

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