Should companies express political opinions publicly?
Every company has the right to share its political stance, but it should do so strategically.
Brands and public relations agencies face the difficult decision of whether to take a political stance in their external communications or avoid doing so, mainly because we are living in times of great social and political polarization, and doing so can impact their image and sales.
Advantages of making a political stance public:
- Increased visibility and engagement: When a brand takes a political stance and makes it public, it can attract the attention of new audiences and generate greater affinity with its audiences.
- Improved reputation: A brand that aligns itself with values that are important to its audiences can improve its brand image and reputation.
- Opportunities for collaboration: Brands that share values can collaborate with each other to create a positive impact on society.
Risks of expressing a political stance:
- Loss of customers: Brands that take controversial political stances can lose customers who do not share their values.
- Criticism and attacks: Brands can be the target of criticism and attacks from their detractors, as well as bot-fueled campaigns.
- Confusion about the brand’s purpose: If brands do not consider a strategy for communicating political messages, they can confuse their audiences about their primary purpose.
Before making a decision, brands and public relations agencies should consider the following factors:
- Brand values: What values does the brand want to defend? Is it willing to take the risk of losing customers who do not share its values?
- Target audience: What does the brand’s target audience think about the political issue? Is it willing to support the brand if it takes a stance?
- Competition: What are competing brands doing? Are they taking a political stance?
- Political context: What is the current political climate? Is it an appropriate time to take a political stance?
- It is important to do it in a responsible and consistent way with the brand’s values. The brand should be prepared to respond to criticism and attacks that may arise.
- The brand needs to focus on issues that are relevant to its target audience. A brand that takes a political stance on an issue that is not important to its target audience may not achieve its goals.
- Finally, the brand should be prepared for the long-term impact of its decision. A brand that takes a political stance may find it difficult to change its mind in the future.