Impact Research partner Zac McCrary recently collaborated with pollster Robert Blizzard of Public Opinion Strategies for a survey on behalf of Narrative Strategies that takes a closer look at how consumers think about corporate involvement in the political sphere in a highly partisan and contentious time in our nation’s political history. The results show that most Americans simply want companies focused on providing a good service, operating in a responsible and honest way, and supporting their own workers’ well-being. Entering the political arena can detract from these basics and draw unwanted scrutiny and criticism.

When asked what qualities describe a company with a good reputation, 94+% replied being trustworthy, providing high-quality products, and treating employees well — while only 44% said that support for political causes is typical of companies with a good reputation. Why? Consumers are skeptical that companies are putting their money where their mouth is. Only 21% of respondents back employers in union disputes, and nearly half think that corporate diversity goals are insincere.

As Narrative Strategies’ Ken Spain puts it: “For now, the message is clear. Get back to basics.”

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