Public opinion is almost always associated with governments, governance or the influence of high-profile celebrities. Although some business owners share the same notions, most PR companies in Melbourne would agree that there is more to public opinion than just politics and celebrity endorsements.
For the People, From the People
Business success and public opinion go hand in hand. It is worth noting, for example, that most corporations that offer decent salaries and working conditions, manage to keep a full roster of workers. Their sound business decisions lead to better employee retention and customer service. One may say that this is just basic corporate decision-making: policies driven by market demands and shifts.
But, according to Professor Pino Audia from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire in the United States, these decisions are actually influenced by constant pressure from public opinion. Audia cites research conducted by Pew, which states that 73 percent of surveyed businesses supported government efforts to increase the minimum wage. A unified voice is what seems to make businesses listen when there is a need for change.
The Power of a Single Voice
In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Professor Audia also claimed that massive shifts in public opinion should not catch businesses unaware and unprepared. He likens this to social peer pressure saying that any entity that goes against prevailing views may be seen as an outcast. Their reputations can be severely damaged and they must either give in to the public clamour or suffer the consequences.
The power of public opinion can never be underestimated. It has felled autocratic tyrants and even empires. A poll by the firm Forrester reveals the power of public opinion in modern times. According to the results, even simple recommendations made from customer to customer carry a higher trust factor than traditional advertising or marketing. Humans only trust what they can understand, and most of the time, the only ones they trust are their fellow consumers.
Ignoring public opinion can be corporate suicide. Business owners have a choice. They can strive to give consumers what they want, or suffer the wrath of their collective voice.