Wednesday, May 22, 2024

An Post named most reputable organisation over last 15 years as RTÉ suffers greatest decline

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An Post has been named the most reputable organisation in Ireland over the last 15 years, with credit unions topping the rankings for 2024.

The long-running RepTrak study – which measures the level of trust, admiration, esteem and good feeling that the public has for 100 of the largest, most familiar and most important organisations in Ireland – found that An Post has posted the highest average score over the period since 2010.

The State-owned postal and financial services company – which came fourth in the 2024 study, behind credit unions, Lidl Ireland and Boots Ireland – has consistently scored strongly, being seen to act for the common good, improving the quality of life across communities and transforming itself into a sustainable business, according to the Reputations Agency, which compiles the study.

Crisis-stricken RTÉ has suffered the largest reputational decline over the last 15 years, dropping from 67th in 2010 to 99th in 2024, with only Elon Musk’s social media app X now ranked below it.

The most significant decline for the public service broadcaster came between 2023 and this year in the wake of its hidden payments scandal, which substantially reduced its scores on trust and propensity to “give the benefit of the doubt to”, among other metrics. It had placed 92nd in 2023.

Niamh Boyle, chief executive of the Reputations Agency, said the examples of RTÉ and the Football Association of Ireland – which was ranked 97th this year – demonstrated how the reputation of an organisation can be crushed by weak corporate governance structures.

She said it was vital that board directors “really understand the importance of their role” and have the time that will be required to fulfil obligations “sufficiently explained” to them.

“I think people are going to look at their roles more carefully now, and that will be a good thing – you don’t want to lose great people.”

The Irish League of Credit Unions held on to top place for the second consecutive year in this year’s study, and was the only organisation to achieve an “excellent” score. It was ranked first for citizenship, conduct, products and services, and workplace, four of seven key drivers of reputation measured. Ms Boyle said the way credit unions treated their members was “a great lesson” for many other organisations.

Lidl, meanwhile, took first place for offering good value for money, while Boots was the company that most people said they had a propensity to buy from.

The top 10 in 2024 was completed by Toyota, Samsung, Mater Private Network, Fáilte Ireland, Revolut and Blackrock Healthcare Group. This was Revolut’s first appearance in the top 10. The Irish Times was the highest ranked media company, placing 53rd.

Members of the public were only asked for their detailed opinions of an organisation if they were familiar with it.

Although Uisce Éireann – formerly known as Irish Water – remains near the foot of the rankings in 94th place, the score it received from the public has increased “significantly” across a number of metrics compared to when it was first included in the study in 2015. As a result it has managed to move from having a “poor” reputation to a “weak” one.

This year only X – previously called Twitter – recorded a “poor” score.

Ms Boyle said one of the lessons of the last 15 years was that while “some companies just can’t seem to get out of the mire” of a weak reputation those that put in a concerted effort over time and took reputation management seriously could improve their standing with the public.

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