Helping Heathrow understand its reputation amongst stakeholders

We gave the airport a consistent, 360-degree view of sentiment across diverse stakeholder groups to help them track performance and manage relationships.

Challenge

As Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow has an incredibly diverse set of stakeholders – from MPs and the local community, to international partners and the 78 million customers passing through each year.

Mapping the attitudes of these groups is a constant challenge and one Heathrow wanted to address in order to inform their communications strategy.

In addition, they wanted to define their overall reputation as a single, actionable metric to be used by the Executive Committee to track business strategy and value. This would allow them to plot their performance against other regulated brands.

Approach

Kantar partnered with the client to identify the key stakeholder groups and agreed the best way to track their opinions. Sources included Heathrow’s existing data assets and publically-available information such as passenger feedback on social media, and MP and opinion leader comments in various channels.

We worked to connect and harmonise the datasets by agreeing the appropriate metrics from survey results and, using human analysis, applying sentiment scores to mainstream and social media outputs.

Insight

The quarterly report we deliver plots the magnitude and sentiment of each group over time, as well as the key drivers behind any changes, providing an invaluable insight to inform communications strategy. All this provides an overall metric score for Heathrow’s reputation.

Impact

Beyond helping strengthen and inform the communications strategy, the results have given internal teams across Heathrow a single, unified view and understanding of their reputation, facilitating greater collaboration and integrated work across teams.

The project runs on an ongoing basis and the reputation metrics feed into Heathrow’s Executive Committee and inform key business decisions.

An overview of the study was also presented in front of senior corporate communications leaders at the 2018 CorpComms Reputation Summit.

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