Creating a new framework for crisis management with YouGov
July 1st, 2024, YouGov

Creating a new framework for crisis management with YouGov

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Business challenge

Measure brand and business impacts of reputational events to inform a new risk management framework.


YouGov’s brand tracking tool was used to analyze 20+ crisis events and identify signature indicators.


Creation of a new risk management framework with findings published in a leading academic publication.

Business challenge

Jim Pierpoint, an SVP of Global Risk Management at Bank of America and lecturer at North Carolina State University, wanted to explore brand tracking data as an alternative measurement tool to track crisis events and inform decision-making.

As a former Reuters journalist, Pierpoint understood the impact negative headlines could have on brand perceptions and business outcomes, but also recognized the limitations of traditional media monitoring and social media analysis.

As part of his communications research at NC State University, he wanted to analyze historical brand health tracking data for known crisis events.


Leveraging YouGov’s flagship brand tracking tool, YouGov BrandIndex, Pierpoint examined 24 crisis events that had impacted Fortune 500 brands to find patterns and correlations that could help risk management professionals better respond.

With more than 15 years of historical data across 27,000+ brands, YouGov BrandIndex allowed Pierpoint to isolate clear crisis “signatures” across virtually all events and identify the various stages of a brand crisis. In particular, he plotted time series data comparing Buzz and Attention metrics, identifying the typical peak brand impact of crises and the typical timeframes for reputational recovery.

Business outcomes

After conducting extensive analysis using YouGov BrandIndex, Pierpoint developed a framework to help identify and track brand crises.

Pierpoint’s “shock barometer,” distinguishes between events that would have a limited impact on the brand and those likely to cause significant business disruptions. Insights also revealed a reliable risk threshold when Negative Buzz spiked to two standard deviations above the mean, providing strong validation that the brand had entered a crisis.

The groundbreaking research has been published in the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. Pierpoint continues to leverage data from YouGov BrandIndex in ongoing studies on PR measurement and is establishing a community of PR and risk management professionals to further explore the use of brand tracking data.

Client testimonial

“Media monitoring data is of limited value in a crisis situation because it doesn’t truly capture whether bad headlines are hurting brand perceptions or purchase consideration. By leveraging YouGov’s BrandIndex data, we are able to show the actual impact of a reputational event and help provide PR and risk professionals a playbook to plan their response.”

Jim Pierpoint, SVP, Global Risk Management at Bank of America and Lecturer, North Carolina State University