Iberdrola bottomed out in October last year in the main reputation indices. One of the main reasons for this slump was the emptying of the Ricobayo reservoir in August 2021. It was a controversial decision, and the main casualty was the hydroelectric company. This emptying had the approval of Red Eléctrica Española – which oversees the electricity market – and the Confederación del Duero. The fact is that an international treaty obliges the release of water in the rivers that flow through Spain to reach Portugal.
However, these arguments – which Iberdrola explained very little at the time – did not serve to cushion the weight of discredit that fell on the company.
At that time – a year ago – Iberdrola was going through possibly its worst period in terms of social reputation in its entire history. In addition to the Ricobayo controversy, at that time the government’s finger-pointing and the mantra of “electricity companies make a fortune” were factors that took their toll on the company.
This was the main reason why Iberdrola radically changed its communication policy, with a renewed team.
Since then, with José Luis Fernández Peña as the company’s dircom and with new additions to the department, Iberdrola began a strategy of promoting its output in the media and promoted a new claim -For you, for the planet-, proactive and active in defending the company’s reputation as Spain’s “green” flag in the world.
Iberdrola changed its communication policy in October last year after its reputation levels plummeted.
Just ten months after the arrival of a new communications team, reputation indicators are picking up. This is certified by two leading studies on the subject: RepTrak (or Reputation Institute) and the Epsilon Icarus Analytics ESD Panel. This upturn is also taking place in a complicated context for the energy sector, with the gas market soaring due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Reptrak index placed Iberdrola in October 2021 at an all-time low of 52.5, ten points lower than just two years ago. But from then until December this year, RepTrak rose by more than three points. By March 2022, it had risen to 63.1, a score above its competitors.
Another measuring institute, in this case a digital one, has followed suit. The Epsilon Icarus Analytics Panel of the Ibex 35, a study carried out by Epsilon Technologies, has just placed Iberdrola with a score of 35.26%, followed by Acciona with 32.34%, as the leader in social media interactions among Ibex companies.
In this digital sphere, Iberdrola has a social media strategy aimed at connecting with the younger audience. Proof of this was its presence last week at Mad Cool, the main European music festival that has just been held in the Spanish capital. The main covered stage of the festival was sponsored by the multinational.
Another key element that explains this upturn in the company’s reputational assessment has been its ability to bring together the presence of women in sport, both at grassroots and elite level, in terms of equality. The senior women’s national team that is making its debut this week in the European Football Championship is an example of this.
However, Iberdrola’s investment “stain” extends to practically all sports federations in Spain. In fact, two out of every three women’s federations in Spain are sponsored by the electricity company.