The Authenticity Gap at a Glance

auth_gap_new1The Authenticity Gap is a methodology to help companies understand and pro-actively manage the gap between audiences’ expectations and their actual experience of a company or brand. The data allows them to create true relationships with their audiences – real Authentic Engagement – that drives progress and opportunity.

What Happens When Your Brand And Your Reputation Are Not On The Same Page

FleishmanHillard’s approach to the Authenticity Gap involves both brand and reputation. We believe Authentic Engagement happens only when the actual experiences of your stakeholders, and the expectations they have of your organization match what your organization is saying about itself and what it is actually doing – in other words, with your brand.

Customers don’t buy… Legislators don’t vote… Employees don’t come to work…simply because of what you promise in your brand. Rather, they act because of what they believe. Their experiences. Their expectations. In other words, your reputation.

Creating better alignment between brand and reputation is critical for success and growth It is the central issue that every organization must solve today.

The Nine Drivers of Authenticity

NineDrivers2Our research is framed against the Nine Drivers of Authenticity – those attributes that most shape audiences’ perceptions and beliefs about a company.

The drivers are tracked over time to monitor the organization’s current authenticity and momentum against key competitors.

Together these nine drivers provide a map to the agendas of today’s stakeholders and how they engage with a company.

All findings are country, industry and brand specific.

How is the Research Relevant?auth_engage3

Rather than a list of rankings like so many other research studies, our study gives communications and marketing executives actionable data they can use to shape their brand and business initiatives − thus addressing the Authenticity Gap.




Once the research is complete we develop a course of action to help the organization close the critical gaps while building on its competitive strengths.

Latest Authenticity Gap Findings

Who Was Surveyed? The Engaged Consumer

Engaged consumers shape how companies are perceived – the expectations of how companies should behave and how companies are performing relative to their expectations. Customer engagement is the depth of the relationship a customer has with a brand. It is built, worn away and rebuilt (or destroyed) with every brand interaction, whether that’s making a purchase, sharing a product Tweet or blog, investing in a company, writing an online review, having a conversation with a friend, or any other active engagement. This engagement provides a pro-active, conscious lens from which the consumer is able to decide among categories, companies and brands.

How Are Companies Applying The Insights?

The Authenticity Gap insights can be used to address a wide spectrum of brand and reputation needs. These include, but are not limited to:

Authenticity Gap Products and Programs



Gives data from existing polls from a particular category and country. Depending on the level of the report, it will shows category expectations, data on a specific brands or companies, along with other infographics and commentary.


Is a custom poll designed in partnership with the client and tailored to chosen company, competitive set and countries. Clients can add custom questions and fashion the specific demographics of the experts being polled.

Strategy & Planning


A series of half day or full day sessions that bring together communication and executive leaders in facilitated sessions to work collaboratively on addressing the authenticity gaps. Sessions begin with strategy development work and then evolve into complex communications planning.


Resonate is holistic strategic planning and positioning tool to help clients develop communication programs and plans that will drive progress and authentic engagement as well as deliver tangible results.



Today’s executives are expected to be the chief communicators for their organizations. So we created the “Executive Studio” to build programs that reflect the personality, style and the subject matter appropriate for the individual.

For more information about FleishmanHillard’s Authenticity Gap please contact Marjorie Benzkofer at