Large firms are more valued in hard times – just be clear in your comms

20th February 2024


This is an unusual and tricky year for big companies.

2024 will see a festival of democracy (or something close to democracy) bringing half the world’s voting-age population – around 1.5bn people – to the polls. That will create lots of electoral campaign noise, much of it divisive, and with it considerable uncertainty about outcomes, policymaking and funding.

Swirl in several other ‘known unknowns’ – the direction of war in Ukraine, escalating military tension in the Middle East, supply chain disruption in the Suez, intensifying economic pressures (although less so in the US), a revaluation of global commercial real estate, and fears over China’s Pacific plans – and you see volatility, nervous customers and worried employees.

From a strategic communications perspective, it means projecting stability and solutions at the same time. Big companies and their leaders must proactively message these two qualities above all. That will provide the clarity everyone wants to hear from them, and especially when the prospect of change feels so visceral and threatening.

If you’re a big energy company, your stakeholders want to know you’re going to keep the lights on, but still find ways to further the low carbon energy transition and enable their own ambitious emissions targets.

If you’re a big financial institution, your stakeholders want to know their money and transactions, and the market infrastructure they rely on, is safe and secure. But you will still address essential innovation – whether that’s deploying AI, sourcing efficiencies or finding ways to keep capital flowing and liquidity in markets while also transitioning your balance sheet.

If you’re a consumer products giant, people want to know you will continue to smoothly provide their go-to essentials, while also finding ways to price fairly and advance your commitments to ethical policies.

In short, a volatile year is the time for big companies to step up and be counted. For too long trust between multinationals and their stakeholders has been eroded by unnecessarily complicated, jargon-filled and disingenuous communications that lack focus and transparency.

The big and established companies we all rely on now need to be seen as a true partner of choice for all their stakeholders. Delivering that requires proactive but straightforward messaging – clear business communications – around providing much needed stability. You get it and you can count on us.

There’s also important room for creativity to demonstrate the innovation and solutions still being brought to your markets and to the world’s most challenging issues. People want to know that too; and if your communications effort is reliable – focused and clear – they will forgive the odd set back.

In uncertain times large corporates become more important. They must be visible and easy to understand. For the biggest – those being looked to for reassurance and clarity where it is getting harder to find any – this is the strategic north star to guide your communications and management through the choppy waters of 2024. It’s not a year to hide nor overcomplicate things.


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Please contact our experienced team to discuss how H/Advisors Maitland can support you in communicating your strategy, goals and performance to the financial markets and the business media.

Sam Turvey

Managing Partner
+44 (0) 2073 950 437