Commentary

More Companies Monitoring Social Media for Adverse PR

The proportion of corporate directors who say their companies are monitoring social media for “adverse publicity” (a gentle euphemism) has increased from 32% in 2012 to 41% today, according to the latest Corporate Directors Survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

However, as these figures indicate more than half of corporate directors still believe their companies aren’t doing a good enough job of keeping an eye out for adverse publicity: 55% of the PwC survey respondents said their companies either aren’t monitoring social media efficiently, or aren’t doing it at all. That’s down moderately from 61% in 2012.

PwC found a similar story in regards to social media strategies for applications like marketing, research, and internal communications. Thus 40% of respondents said their companies are leveraging social media for strategic goals, while 54% said their companies’ efforts to leverage social media are insufficient or nonexistent; both figures are unchanged from two years ago.

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Corporate America also appears to be stalled on the adoption of big data for strategic goals. In 2014 49% of respondents said their companies are using big data, versus 46% who said their companies’ big data efforts are insufficient or nonexistent. Again, both figures are unchanged from two years ago.

Companies are at least becoming more aware of the need to train employees in the use of social media -- perhaps because they’re more aware of the threat of adverse publicity. The proportion who say their companies are providing social media training increased from 31% in 2012 to 42% in 2014. Meanwhile the proportion who said their companies’ efforts in social media training are insufficient or non-existent fell from 63% to 55%.

Interestingly PwC discovered some pretty significant differences between male and female corporate directors when it came to their perceptions of their companies’ risk mitigation strategies for IT. For example 22% of male directors strongly agreed that risk mitigation strategies are supported by sufficient understanding of IT issues at the board level, versus just 13% of female directors. Similarly just 15% of female directors strongly believed the board has enough information about risk mitigation to provide sufficient oversight, compared to 28% of male directors.

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