New Survey Shows the Challenges Businesses Face When Confronting Political Polarization

It seems like there is a new political controversy almost every other day, and businesses are frequently asked to comment on these issues because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing consumers to know where they stand. However, businesses often need to be careful about how they word things, otherwise their reputation might become worse than might have been the case otherwise.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this survey from Edelman expanded on a few things businesses can do to avoid polarization while addressing sensitive topics. 46% of consumers said that businesses should be a trusted source of information if they want to weigh in. 43% said that businesses should prove that they base their actions and decisions on science, since this can do a lot to make them more trustworthy in the long run.

Aligning with any single political party might end up making businesses seem biased, which is why 39% of people said that businesses should be fair. Favoring a party could indicate that a business has ulterior motives instead of striving to do the right thing, and if a business were to cross this line chances are that customers will start turning on it rather quickly.

Another really important thing for businesses to focus on if they want to comment on such issues is consistency. 36% of consumers say that consistency makes it more likely that a business is being genuine rather than just trying to use the latest controversy to drum up some publicity for whatever their business model is trying to sell.

Also, the CEOs of businesses can’t be exempt from scrutiny. There is a lot of consensus on how CEOs are supposed to behave in order to get anyone whatsoever to take them the least bit seriously. 89% of consumers said that CEOs should speak out about the unfair treatment of certain employees over others.
82% also said that CEOs should take about climate change, since they are some of the few people who have the power to actually do anything about it. Discrimination was yet another thing that consumers want CEOs to talk about, with 80% saying that it was quite important. Finally, the wealth gap and immigration were another couple of things that consumers want CEOs to address, with 77% and 72% respectively.

One of the most important revelations in this study is how useful it can be for governments and businesses to work together. It’s what can lead to the most constructive outcomes for all the parties who are concerned or involved.

Read next: 48% of People Say That Recording People Without Consent Should Be Illegal
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