Kuala Lumpur (October 7th 2020): Global corporate confidence continued its slow but gradual improvement in August, according to the Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI), which uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) tool to track the sentiments and engagement of C-Suite Executives at over 54,000 leading businesses around the world. While overall confidence in July was just 0.1% higher than in July, this still represents the 4th consecutive month of global improvement since April when COVID-19 severely impacted global business confidence.
As part of its global research, the Worldcom Confidence Index also tracks the confidence and concerns of CEOs and CMOs at over 811 major Malaysian enterprises collecting data from their personal (but public) social media and blog postings each month. Based on the information collected and analysed by the advanced AI tool, confidence among senior Malaysian executives dropped slightly from 18.58 in July to 18.55 in August – a decline of -0.4%.
Commenting on this, Niall Dologhan, Principal Counsellor & Director of TQPR (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the Worldcom Group’s partner agency in Malaysia, said, “The change in both global and Malaysian corporate confidence from July to August was quite gentle. I think this highlights that as yet there has been no ‘game-changer’ when it comes to COVID-19 and that business confidence remains very fragile. Senior Malaysian executives particularly lack confidence in two topics over which they have relatively little direct control, specifically ‘Government and Legislative Change’ and ‘How Political Leaders Communicate’. These are issues which have certainly been prominent in Malaysian conversations over the last couple of weeks.”
While Malaysia’s drop in corporate confidence in August was relatively small (just -0.4%) it was still one of the larger falls within the 30 countries whose results are reported individually by the Worldcom Confidence Index. The only countries with larger falls were Mexico, Portugal, Italy and Poland, all of whom faced particular COVID challenges during the month of August.
The WCI also tracks changes in topic engagement each month. This provides an interesting insight into the corporate world’s shifting priorities. During August the business issues which attracted the most attention from senior executives globally was ‘Upskilling and Reskilling’ and ‘Retaining Talent’. It is worth noting that the ‘Top 10’ issues that leaders focused on in August were the same as in July, which gives a good indication that the attention of executives is solidifying on those topics which are key to recovery. Employee-related topics represented five of the top-seven topics for CEOs and CMOs, indicating the importance leaders are putting on their talent right now.
The key topics of engagement for senior Malaysian business leaders were generally in line with their global counterparts with some minor differences. For example, ‘Cybercrime’, globally was the 11th most discussed topic among senior execs, but only rated 16th in Malaysia. Conversely, during August, Malaysian executives gave a higher priority to ‘Customer Satisfaction’ than global business leaders.
In addition to identifying what topics global execs are engaging with each month, the Worldcom Confidence Index AI tool is able to interpret their postings to identify how ‘confident’ they are in handling these topics. This reveals that during August the topic that executives had the most confidence in managing was ‘Upskilling and Reskilling’. The issue they felt least confident about was ‘Global Trade Agreements and Tariffs’.
Malaysian executives were also confident when it came to the ‘Upskilling and Reskilling’ topic, with their confidence in handling the issue scoring above the global average. However, Malaysian executives had below average confidence on all other topics, scoring particularly badly in their confidence to handle or influence topics related to ‘Sexual Harassment’, ‘Government & Legislative Change’ and the impact on their businesses of ‘Political Leaders Communication’.
The AI tool behind this research is affectionately known as ‘Polly’ and was developed by the University of Ottawa and licensed to Advanced Symbolics Inc. who are the Worldcom Group’s research partner. In addition to its work in generating the Worldcom Confidence Index, Polly has also been used to accurately gauge public sentiment and has correctly forecast over 20 elections and referendums since its debut in 2016, including both BREXIT and the 2016 Trump victory.
The full Worldcom Confidence Index research includes many other findings including regional comparisons (i.e. Asia, North America, LATAM, Europe, Africa, etc.), key audiences for C-Suite attention, confidence based on 11 industry sectors, confidence by age and many more. The full results can be found at: https://worldcomgroup.com/confidence-index/august-2020-global-results/
The study is able to operate at this scale (over 54,000 senior executives), and in nine different languages, because the data is captured using a breakthrough approach powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Worldcom’s chosen research firm, Advanced Symbolics Inc (ASI), has developed a patented method of building large, but representative, samples and then capturing public information with their AI tool. The tool collects and analyses the personal (but public) social media and blog postings of senior Executives at targeted leading businesses. Once this data has been collected the AI is able to interpret and calculate the engagement and confidence of the target group on the 23 business topics covered by the WCI. This provides incredibly valuable insights because it means the WCI not only shows what leaders are talking about, but also their confidence or concern in addressing each topic.
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- If you would like more information about TQPR (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, please contact Niall Dologhan, Principal Consultant at email@example.com or call him +60 362 034 300
About the Worldcom Public Relations Group
The Worldcom Public Relations Group (Worldcom) is the world’s leading partnership of independently owned public relations firms, with 143 offices employing some 2,000 staff in 115 cities across six continents. In total, Worldcom partners reported a combined revenue of U.S. $288 million last year from 3,034 clients. Established in 1988, the group was formed so that the strongest, most capable independent firms could inspire direct action from stakeholders in a way that delivers immediate results and lasting outcomes– wherever in the world a client needs support. Worldcom’s partners deliver unique connectivity to their marketplace. This provides clients direct access to the audiences they most want to take action and to specialists that can deliver on challenging problems. As a result, strategies and campaigns see immediate reactions that turn into sustained audience actions. Partners serve national, international, and multinational clients while retaining the flexibility and client-service focus inherent in independent agencies. Through Worldcom, clients have on-demand access to in-depth communications expertise from professionals who understand the language, culture, and customs of the geographic areas in which they operate. Learn more about Worldcom at www.worldcomgroup.com or by calling 1-800-955-9675. Connect with The Worldcom PR Group on Facebook and LinkedIn.
About TQPR (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
TQPR Malaysia was founded in 1995 and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. The company is part of the TQPR Group with offices in Thailand and Vietnam and is also a long-term member of the global Worldcom Public Relations Group. TQPR Malaysia provides a wide range of public relations services to local and multinational clients in the Malaysian market, utilising its in-depth understanding and relationships with the Malaysian media. TQPR understands the Malaysian landscape and works with clients to craft rich and relevant content that will resonate and connect with their target audiences. Connect with TQPR Malaysia on Facebook, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on +60 362 034 300.