Speaking Out

FGH’s Research and Insights team asked their TrendSpotters insights community of 300 news-attentive, politically-aware and civically-engaged individuals nationwide how they feel about businesses getting involved with current issues.

Here’s what they found:

  • Republicans call on major corporations to demonstrate a full grip on their employees’ views before they speak out on social issues. They question whether their engagement only reflects management’s views.
  • Republicans accuse companies of copycat behavior in advocating for “woke” positions – doing so because it’s fashionable rather than their own beliefs.  Republicans warn companies not to alienate half the country, or  be seen as looking down on conservatives or denigrating their values.
    • Though Republicans want companies to stick to their core competencies, they do continue to support moves to pull out of Russia. Some also support the right of companies to speak out on issues when they directly impact their employees – including access to abortion services.
  • In contrast, Democrats strongly support companies stepping up on issues such as climate change, LGBTQ rights and racial equity. But they’re tough judges – quickly faulting companies for changing policy on which politicians they’d donate to after the January 6 insurrection or for not following through on statements around social issues.
  • Both sides recognize speaking out is easier for niche brands with a very clearly defined set of customers. Brands needing to speak to both red and blue Americas have a much thornier path.