W2O Releases 2018 Relevance Index of Fortune 100 Companies

New York, April 11, 2019 – W2O Group, an innovative, analytics-driven, digital-first marketing and communications firm, today released its 2018 Relevance Index of Fortune 100 companies. Launched in 2017, the Relevance Index is a proprietary analytics model designed to determine the relevance of companies in multiple industries as it relates to stakeholder engagement in a social/digital reality. The Index tracks specific signals related to CEO approval, financial analyst coverage, employee visibility, search and the marketplace to determine the level of relevance for an organization or brand.

The 2018 Relevance Index found that Facebook, Google, Delta Airlines, Walt Disney, Apple, Costco and Amazon scored highest, mainly replicating their 2017 rankings. These companies displayed strong alignment of internal and external narratives, differentiating thought leadership, innovation-oriented cultures and agile interaction with key stakeholders. This year, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were new additions to the list.

The firm will also release its first-ever Healthcare Relevance Index in approximately two weeks.

“Relevance is the new reputation,” said Gary Grates, Principal at W2O. “It provides a more actionable measure for leaders to determine if they are truly connecting with key audiences – interests, concerns, beliefs, expectations – and if this connection is resulting in greater engagement with the organization. The Index not only captures relevance, it also illuminates what a company needs to do from a decision and action standpoint to help it achieve a bold and differentiating narrative.”

Following are key findings from the 2018 Relevance Index of leading Fortune companies, which is available in full at https://w2o.to/2018RelevanceIndex

A summary of the 2018 Relevance Index:

  • Only 8 percent of Fortune 100 companies registered a strong or resilient relevance.
  • 51 percent of companies registered as susceptible or weak, suggesting their relevance is highly vulnerable and they need to take significant, immediate, clear, genuine and sustained actions to engage with stakeholders who matter on the topics that matter to them.
  • Among the relevance leaders, drivers were positive recommendations from financial analysts, high CEO approval ratings, and high search interest (despite much lower news sharing).
  • Leaders:
    • Have a clear, consistent, differentiating narrative, POV, thought leadership are bold, nimble, attuned and ahead
    • Are Proactive:  bold statements and innovation-centric announcements drive relevance (see Goldman Sachs Crypto currency example on slide 10)
    • Understand the Trump factor:  responses to Trump statements (both critique and praise) are drivers of relevance
  • Companies that fall in the middle of the Index have low content sharing and low search interest, apathetic stakeholders, and incongruencies in internal and external scores (narratives, understanding, support, outlook, advocacy). Additionally, they experience challenges due to leadership changes, organizational flux or plateaus, and M&A activity.

“In 2018, we found it was easier for Fortune 100 companies to lose than gain relevance,” said Chuck Hemann, Managing Director, Analytics. “It’s critical that companies truly comprehend stakeholders in a deep manner as a foundation to engagement. Organizations can often lose sight of stakeholders in today’s fast-moving environment, missing the originality and impact needed to gain relevance. In 2018, eight of the top 15 relevance organizations were the same as 2017 albeit movement in terms of score. This indicates the fluidity of relevance and, for companies, necessitates a more disciplined effort to stay attuned and stay ahead.”

About W2O’s Relevance Index

Launched in 2017, W2O’s Relevance Index ranks the top Fortune 100 organizations on how they perform from an engagement and interaction standpoint. The Index tracks specific signals related to CEO approval, financial analyst coverage, employee visibility, search and the marketplace to determine the level of relevance for an organization or brand. The aggregate number provides a relevance score indicating where an organization or brand performs vis-à-vis its competitive set. The model reflects actual observed behavior vs. reported perceptions.

About W2O

Founded by Jim Weiss in 2001, W2O is the leading independent provider of analytics-driven, digital-first marketing services and communications to the healthcare sector. W2O applies proprietary analytics models, methodologies and approaches in a digital world to design precise communications and marketing strategies to deliver sustained business results. The firm employs nearly 800 people in 15 offices across the United States and in Europe.

For more information, please visit www.w2ogroup.com.

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Peter Duckler, 310-774-3425


W2O Group
W2O Group

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