Interview with Monica Campestrini: Reputation Management

Monica Campestrini has been Data Insights & Analytics Manager Digital Communications at Henkel since April 2022. In an interview with Thomas Mickeleit, she talks about the importance of data analytics for reputation management.

Thomas Mickeleit: Reputation is considered the currency of successful communications work. How important is that to you at Henkel?

Monica Campestrini: The Henkel corporate brand and its reputation have a significant influence on our business success and our attractiveness in the market for all our stakeholders. It is a core task of Corporate Communications to build up and also protect the reputation of our company in the public eye and among certain interest groups, such as the media and employees or in the political environment.

We are building on the long tradition of the company, which has been internationally successful for over 145 years with world-famous product brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. For example, we are currently accompanying the 175th We celebrated the 50th birthday of our company founder Fritz Henkel with an internal and external communications campaign.

Reputation is therefore also our currency for successful communications work. Consequently, we clearly define our communication strategy and measures on the basis of our brand positioning, our corporate purpose “Pioneers at heart for the good of generations” and the company’s strategic priorities.

Continuous measurement of our reputation is essential for us. Only through consistent measurement can we observe how our brand is perceived, how our reputation is affected by various factors, and where we stand in comparison with other companies and industries.

Thomas Mickeleit: How are you positioned to measure reputation?

Monica Campestrini: Our Corporate Communications & Public Affairs team is set up worldwide, with departments at headquarters (such as the Digital Communications team) taking on a global role, and regional steering teams. It is a core task of Digital Communications to drive data-driven communications in our organization and to enable our communications teams to communicate even more purposefully, efficiently and successfully with the help of data and to make informed decisions.

My role as ‘Data Insights Manager’ serves the purpose of enabling this transformation: I am responsible for providing and interpreting our data (including reputation data) and for communicating the insights and findings based on it. I define our data strategy and create a framework to make our communications transparently measurable and also internationally comparable using KPIs and standardized metrics.

I work closely with our Corporate Branding & Communications Strategy team, experts from our Digital team (Data & Analytics Platform Managers), our IT and also external partners.

Thomas Mickeleit: What tools are used for this?

Monica Campestrini: Our tool for measuring reputation is a dashboard that is already provided to us by our partner Caliber. It captures real-time data based on daily stakeholder surveys in our core markets. The survey results generate a “Trust & Like” score, i.e. an indicator that measures trust in and popularity of our brand in addition to awareness. We can thus track the development of our reputation and compare it via benchmarks with other companies, sectors and indices such as the DAX 40.

In addition, our social listening tool Brandwatch is an important brand monitoring and “opinion research” tool: By analyzing online conversations, volume and tone, we can get an idea of which events as well as topics our company is associated with. Sentiment analysis serves as an indicator of the emotional perception of our brand online.

We also use continuous stakeholder surveys on our corporate websites to complete the picture of our brand perception. Our website visitors’ feedback helps us monitor our perceptions among various stakeholders and see how our website content and offerings can also impact the company’s reputation.

Thomas Mickeleit: What role does the competitive benchmark play in the analysis?

Monica Campestrini: Comparing ourselves to certain benchmarks is extremely important, because it’s the only way we can actually evaluate our own reputation scores. We always try to look at a standardized set of benchmarks (comparable companies in the same or similar industry) as far as the available data allows.

Thomas Mickeleit: When measuring reputation, we talk about various reputation dimensions, e.g. employer image, management, products and services or, more recently, sustainability as a particularly important topic. Are there any reputation dimensions that you are particularly looking at right now?

Monica Campestrini: We always look at different reputation dimensions, because reputation is a complex “science”. Basically, two cross-cutting aspects of reputation can be measured: on the one hand, the “emotional attachment” to the brand and, on the other, the “rational perception” of the company. In addition, we also measure topic-specific dimensions that are strategically relevant for us. This includes awareness in areas such as sustainability, innovation or digitalization, as well as of our pioneering spirit and commitment.

Thomas Mickeleit: In what form/frequency do reports take place? How do you manage the transfer from insights to actions?

Monica Campestrini: We integrate the presentation and exchange on reputation measurement results in regular meetings with our communication teams such as ExCom (the communication leadership team), NewsCo (our integrated communication planning team,) as well as international colleagues. Some insights can be particularly helpful for managing communications regionally, as the data often shows significant geographic differences in brand perceptions. However, we also use reputation data for ad-hoc issues: typical areas of application are crisis communication and campaign design.

Thomas Mickeleit: Data analytics in communications continues to develop dynamically. What is the next development step at Henkel?

Monica Campestrini: For us, the next challenge is to integrate all data sources, ideally in a single central tool. We have already laid the foundation for this and have been working with a Power BI Dashboard for several years. This already enables us to visualize our communications output and outcome across all countries, regions, and digital channels in an aggregated form that can be filtered by strategic topics and made available to every communicator as a daily working tool. However, we still have a lot of information and data available that remains fragmented and is not yet 100% integrated. In the future, we want to bring the various data together in an overall narrative, thereby realizing their full potential.

Thomas Mickeleit: Thank you very much, Monica!