In The Loop – October 21, 2022

Watch out for the gorilla

Every week or so we find ourselves being faced with yet another “social unrest or injustice” and we all wonder what we can do to redirect the disrespect, lack of anxiety, anger and feelings of loss of control that many times create todays challenging events.

As we as individuals search for a solution, corporations are asked, and at times demanded, to engage though public statements on the topic causing the unrest or socially unacceptable acts of violence or personal assaults. How are they handling it? It depends on their target audiences/customer base, their level of organizational engagement as part of their brand and their mission/corporate values.

This week, as I attended the public affairs council annual board meeting (first in person meeting since 2019) the last panel of the conference focused on what four corporations do when they find them selves being pressured by either their customer, employees, advocates related to their industry and even shareholders to make statements. They discussed how they decide to become engaged, how they vet the action through all the governing bodies as well as their internal and external audiences, and if indeed the impact of any of the unfortunate events do in fact directly impact their industry / business, challenge their mission, or their key shareholders. Then they can determine if, when or how they engage.

The majority of the panelists said that they have in place a triage system with a “stop light “ type of priority level: red means immediate action, yellow indicates there is an impact to some shareholders but not others, and finally green – they engage since it’s a part of their mission to advocate, engage on behalf of their employees, customer base or their business strategy. KEEP READING.

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