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On Wednesday, May 26, Axios media reporter Sara Fischer and editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston unpacked which brands have become America's favorites and how the past year has impacted their reputations, featuring The Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema, 3M senior vice president of communications Brian Henry, MDC Partners chairman and CEO Mark Penn and The Stagwell Group vice chair Ray Day.

  • John Gerzema on the notably low rankings of social media companies in the Axios Harris Poll: "The big winner this year was probably Apple on the basis of their privacy...But basically, we saw the decline of social media platforms...We had all kinds of controversy around the platforms obviously this year."
  • Brian Henry on how businesses and brands should continue to build resilience: "The lessons learned over the last year can't just be that we now know what PPE stands for. It is that we are smarter as a global community to stay ahead of, respond to and be ready for the next pandemic."
  • Mark Penn on who drives the reputation of companies: "Investors don't drive corporate reputation, more or less. What drives corporate reputation in this survey is much more of the consumers who see and use the products...They want to know that it's consistent in what it stands for."
  • Ray Day on how companies can improve their overall reputation: "The price of entry is to have strong products and services...I always think of reputation as an equation. It's the sum of your company performance, the way you behave, and then how you communicate or market that determines whether your reputation goes up or whether it declines."

Go deeper

Scoop: Inside a Kamala Harris crisis dinner

Vice President Harris boards Air Force Two in Mexico City in June. Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

A group of the Democratic Party's most influential women met for dinner at a home in the nation’s capital last month to game out how to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, against a torrent of bad press.

Why it matters: It's telling that so early in the Biden-Harris administration, such powerful operatives felt compelled to try to right the vice president's ship.

34 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.