Populism is on the rise, tensions are high and the case for business is not being made.
Companies now face a more hostile environment in which to do business than at any time in the last 40 years.
The past decade has traced a decline in trust in formal institutions. Recent studies show across almost every issue – whether regulation or ownership – that the public is losing patience with private business. Even travel agents do not escape the wrath, with a quarter of people wanting them nationalised.
Businesses are under threat, some terminally so.
But companies are the UK’s principal wealth and job creators. They support 82% of all employment in this country. They provide the taxes that essential public services depend on.
It has never been more difficult, nor more important, to make the argument for business. Correctly, responsibly and with conviction.
But for too long communications has failed to keep pace with the changing pressures businesses face. Business communication has lost touch with the need to be human and understand how humans behave.
Rather than shrink from the argument, business must communicate with conviction throughout conflict. We must now understand and influence behaviours, networks, echo chambers, activists and even propagandists.
Businesses must win the argument by having better, more compelling stories. Told in more human ways.
This is why we’ve launched Fourteen Forty.
We believe it’s time to reset the relationship between business and the public.
We believe it’s time people recognise once again all that businesses contribute to society and the economy.
It is time to make the case for business.