By MARK PENN
Published February 7, 2012

In the worldwide marketplace, corporations are continuously being judged by vastly different audiences. From Germany to Brazil, today’s consumers are tuning in to more than just performance; they’re judging corporations on their citizenship. Yet, based on our findings in the inaugural Global Corporate Reputation Index, which was released at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting by Burson-Marsteller, Landor Associates, Penn Schoen Berland and Brand Asset Consulting, corporations aren’t getting or effectively processing that message.

In fact, across the six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States) surveyed, citizenship, defined as how responsible a corporation is to its community, consistently lagged in comparison to corporate performance, suggesting a lack of emphasis on citizenship in today’s corporate marketplace. Companies can and should use this finding as a clear opportunity to strengthen their reputation by demonstrating and communicating more actively their commitment to good corporate citizenship.

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