How have events over the last year, including the Black Lives Matter movement, the election, and the deadly Capitol Hill riots impacted ways in which companies need to think about corporate reputations and the profile of their CEOs?
Peter Stanton, CEO of Stanton Communications, provides considered perspective in this short (7 minute) CommunicationsMatch™ Communicators-to-Communicators video.
“In the past, corporate reputation was about product quality, service excellence, or a track record of business success,” he shares. “Today, reputation, includes social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, enlightened business practices, and sensitive communication.”
All companies have a renewed awareness of market and societal expectations of their actions, as a result of the past year’s events. At a time when anyone can say anything on Twitter or social media, Stanton shares that companies need to specifically focus on the idea of social credibility.
“Words matter, but actions matter more. You cannot just say things. You have to live your principles.” He offers cautionary perspective – there will be consequences if you do not.
A reason for activism, he notes, is that clients and prospective talent increasingly want to know what a company stands for. They will make decisions based on the alignment with their values.
This is not without risks. While responding to significant social issues is entirely appropriate, Stanton says, “Activist leaders must understand that their activism does not entitle them to agreement by everyone on their team. They need to recognize that they do not represent all employees’ views.”
The discussion highlights the delicate balance companies and their leaders have to tread. It also underscores the importance of building a crisis infrastructure – an additional area of focus of the video – to ensure companies are prepared to manage reputational issues that are part of the new activist landscape.
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/RX7rieFRiCU
About: Simon Erskine Locke is CEO of communications agency and professional search and services platform, CommunicationsMatch™. He is a regular contributor to CommPRO.biz and vice president of the Foreign Press Association. Search for Agencies, Professionals & Service providers. Create a profile on CommunicationsMatch.