Financial analysts who follow the pharmaceutical sector are far more attuned to the value of corporate reputation than colleagues covering other areas, according to a Hill & Knowlton study.
As part of its annual Return on Reputation survey, the PR shop asked 51 analysts specializing in the pharma and healthcare sector how they weigh the companies they look at. While pharma analysts had much in common with colleagues tracking other sectors, they rated CEO leadership significantly higher as an indicator of a firm's fiscal health.
“Most CEOs regularly speak on their company's achievements and milestones,” said Paul Oestreicher, US director of Hill & Knowlton's healthcare and pharma practice. “However, it is taking it to the next level by being actively engaged as a leading commentator on industry or healthcare issues that analysts are seeking.”
Pharma analysts frequently cited corporate culture, governance and transparency as critical factors, and nearly twice as many cited the importance of gaining third-party support to help repair a damaged reputation as did their colleagues.
“This is certainly something the pharmaceutical industry has long recognized, relying on independent credible opinion to reassure stakeholders when the company, its services or products are under fire,” said Oestreicher. “With the challenges to the reputation of pharma companies at their highest level ever, the need to nurture and expand relationships is even more acute.”