Expert insight:
How to measure your company's reputation?

By Stefan Gijssels, expert-trainer of Improve Reputation for Better Results in Pharma.

First, how do you define reputation?

According to Stefan Gijssels, former global VP Public Affairs with Janssen, a pharma company’s reputation can be defined as the overall appreciation all stakeholders - external and internal - have of the company based on their expectations.

Consequently, to measure your company’s reputation,  you would have to start with a list of all stakeholders (e.g. physicians, KOLs, HTA, Hospitals …) and determine what each stakeholder expects from the pharmaceutical industry and your company (e.g. innovation, scientific rigour, transparency, …). In that step it is critical that you think from the perspective of your stakeholders‘ agenda and their interests, not yours. In order to develop an action plan afterwards, it is critical to describe each expectation as precisely as possible. 

The next step is to survey these stakeholder expectations. This can be done using Importance/Performance analyses, which results in reputation scores for each of the stakeholders.

The reputation of a company may differ significantly among the various stakeholder groups, and it is essential to understand the value each stakeholder can generate for the company in order to prioritise opinion research and subsequent action plans. A good reputation is a very strong asset to generate business results, both in the short and in the long term. At the same time, it also facilitates all day-to-day relationships with the different stakeholders. 

For optimal results, measuring your company’s reputation requires quite an undertaking in terms of primary market research, the complexity (and budget!) of which will depend on the number of countries and stakeholders surveyed, yet it is a worthwhile investment in the perspective of the value generated. 

In any case, measuring reputation will be increasingly important in the pharma industry because opinions formed, and decisions made by, all the stakeholder groups are based on reputational issues, whether they are doctors, hospital managers, patient groups, politicians, regulators, payers or media.

Below are a number of interesting slides from Stefan Gijssels' Improve Reputation for Better Results in Pharma course.

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