FORBES: Keeping It Real While Navigating Corporate Communication

These days, when controversial and impactful domestic or global events occur, it’s not uncommon for businesses to speak out on social media or in the press by sharing their stance on the issue or by showing support for the victims of any tragedy that may have occurred. And while these comments are often well-intentioned, they can sometimes miss the mark or garner an unexpected response from customers. Outcomes like these can leave business leaders wondering whether they should even speak out at all.

With insights from industry pros like Metova’s Chief Creative Officer, Cade Collister, we’re here to help you navigate these tricky waters with more confidence.

Decide From A Place Of Integrity And Purpose

It’s a balancing act between your voice and a world of opinions. Assess impact, reflect on values, engage stakeholders. Then choose to speak clearly, act authentically and adapt as needed. There’s no magic formula—just integrity and purpose. – Cade Collister, Metova

Hey, folks, let’s keep it real out there

In other words, when you’re crafting your company’s message, make sure it’s authentic and stays true to your values.

Picture this: your company’s facing a PR nightmare. People are talking, the media’s buzzing, and you’re feeling the pressure to respond. Before you hit that “send” button on your carefully crafted statement, ask yourself: does this message reflect who we are as a company? Does it align with our core values? If the answer is yes, then you’re golden. But if it feels forced or disingenuous, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Several of the experts emphasize echoed Cade’s sentiment of the importance of aligning responses with core values and community expectations. Vikas Agrawal and Sandra Pretorius highlight the significance of assessing whether an event violates the values of the company or its stakeholders, emphasizing the potential repercussions of silence in scenarios where it may be perceived as indifference. Additionally, Agrawal stresses the need to evaluate the event’s relevance to the brand ethos and authenticity of the company’s voice before taking a stand.

People First

The duty of care towards employees, customers, and business operations is a recurring theme in the discussion. Karen Quinn and Ashleigh Chevalier underscore the importance of providing support and creating a safe space for stakeholders, whether through media statements, customer communication, or internal resources. Chevalier emphasizes the opportunity for businesses to offer genuine care and support without expressing opinions or allegiances.

Strategic Analysis

The need for strategic analysis and expertise is highlighted by several experts. Maria Amalia Rojas advises organizations to weigh in on topics within their expertise and assess legal or regulatory implications before making a decision. Ken Louie suggests conducting an impact analysis to evaluate the potential repercussions of weighing in or staying silent on particular issues.

Advice from Forbes Communications Council experts:

  1. Determine If The Event Violates The Values Of Your Company Or Customers – Sandra Pretorius, Mandata
  2. Recommend Peace And Safety For Any Unfortunate Incident – Namita Tiwari, Namita Tiwari
  3. Be Careful If There’s No Direct Correlation To Your Company – Mollie Barnett, The SMART Co.
  4. Consider Your Duty To Care For Your Team, Customers And Business – Karen Quinn, Finastra
  5. Genuinely Speak Up About Equality, Justice And Kindness – Monica Kumar, Extreme Networks
  6. Decide From A Place Of Integrity And Purpose – Cade Collister, Metova
  7. Ask If You Have A Unique, Well-Informed Perspective – Patrick Ward, Formula.Monks
  8. Act Only If Your Customers Want You To Speak Up – Leslie Poston, Austin Data Labs
  9. Offer Your Care And Kindness Instead – Ashleigh Chevalier, Level Up Collaborative
  10. Ensure Alignment With Your Core Values And Your Community’s Expectations – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
  11. Take It Case By Case, But Stick With Your Expertise – Maria Amalia Rojas, Nord Comms
  12. Conduct An Impact Analysis – Ken Louie, MetroPlusHealth
  13. Let Your Communications Team Decide – Victoria Zelefsky, The Menkiti Group

Navigating corporate communication requires a holistic approach that considers core values, community expectations, and the well-being of stakeholders. By prioritizing authenticity, empathy, and strategic analysis, organizations can effectively navigate complex situations and uphold their integrity amidst controversy.

Alondra Cruz
Alondra Cruz