Communications professionals are often asked to put a value on their contribution to the businesses that they work for. The latest report from Reputation Dividend states that the combined value of corporate reputations across the FTSE 350 currently stands at £986bn. As of January this year, this represented 42% of the gross market cap of these businesses. That would represent quite a contribution! For top company Royal Dutch Shell, its Reputation Value is a cool £104m, making up 57.6% when this report was researched.

Interestingly, the second fastest growing driver of reputation value, according to the report, is “innovation”, up 42% from the previous year and second only to “ability to attract talent”. More evidence of the importance for corporations to effectively communicate the innovation that is happening in their business. Indeed, “financial soundness” and “use of corporate assets” both declined in relative perceived importance.

What does this mean for communications professionals? Understanding what drives reputation for your business, and how this can be valued is important. This also stresses the value of having a compelling innovation story to tell externally, showing how your investment in technology and research and development will contribute to the future of your business and sector. And then, maybe, corporate communicators can draw their own dividend from the reputation value they create.