THURSDAY 23 MAY 2013 1:15 PM


The 2013 Financial Times Bowen Craggs Index of corporate web effectiveness was published yesterday, analysing the world’s largest companies that are using digital channels to connect with different audiences, including the general public, investors, interest groups, policy makers, customers and potential employees.

The report examines the digital channels of 84 of the largest FT Global 500 companies, which were ranked by market capital.

The annual report revealed that eight out of the top 10 companies are operating in controversial sectors, such as tobacco, pharmaceuticals and energy, as well as companies that have recently suffered damage are actually the ones leading the best digital corporate communications.

David Bowen, senior consultant at Bowen Craggs & Co says, “The importance of online channels has become widely established as a vital way in which very large companies can protect their reputations, impress investors and build goodwill with a wide range of different audiences.”

As companies from Europe have a more coordinated approach to their online communications, they dominate the top 20, leaving the highest ranked US company far behind in the 17th position.

The report also shows that banks and financial services companies are failing to protect their online reputation, and they are low ranked. As an example of their unsuccessful online strategies, the new Barclays website has been highly criticised.

The reports also points out that the mobile web seems to be pushing social media out by adapting websites for smaller screen sizes for mobile users.

According to Bowen it is very difficult to measure real returns, “some companies have had millions of ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages but when you look at who is behind them, it is hard to see how the company is benefiting. It’s really important not to be hypnotised by big numbers.”