Could Reputational Risk Doom Your Business?

The experts agree. Reputational risk represents a substantial threat to a company’s financial well-being. And it’s the toughest challenge executives encounter.

Today I’m publishing my latest position paper advising executives how to communicate when faced with risks that threaten their businesses and their careers. “Beyond the Bottom Line: 20 Ways to Reduce Reputational Risk” contains 20 reputational risk scenarios and, importantly, specific action steps to take when communicating in the maelstrom of such hazards. Watch for excerpts in coming weeks.

As the introduction reads, “What do you need to do to avoid or, in certain cases, minimize the reputational risk to your organization? This paper offers solutions to help you when crisis strikes, for it truly is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’”

Communicating effectively in risky, stressful situations demands planning and practice. While it is impossible to predict the exact nature of the crisis a business might encounter, the need to anticipate, act, and react remains paramount.

“Beyond the Bottom Line: 20 Ways to Reduce Reputational Risk” draws upon recommendations from sources including the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, material from the Harvard Business Review, and lessons from the U.S. military.

Additionally, each of the 20 scenarios contains at least one link to a pertinent resource on the Barkscomm.com web site.

“Beyond the Bottom Line” is by no means the end-all and be-all reputational risk resource. The intent is to frame things from a communications perspective, and to give executives tools that can help them overcome risk-laden conditions. If it helps just one organization successfully confront it reputational challenges, it will have done its job. If it spurs meaningful, civil debate and discussion that furthers our understanding of reputational risk, that’s a victory, too.

As with all of my research publications, this new one is also available at no charge on my web site.

What can you do with this new information? Act on it, whether for your own benefit or that of a valued colleague or professional contact. How?

  • Share this post and its links to “Beyond the Bottom Line: 20 Ways to Reduce Reputational Risk” with your CEO.
  • Distribute the paper to your internal communications team and to other executives in your company as “must see” reading.
  • Send an e-mail to colleagues in other organizations notifying them of this new resource.
  • Invite me to deliver a presentation to your executive team or to a professional society to which you belong (okay, this one is from the shameless self-promotion department).

I encourage you to add other ideas to spread the word in the Comments section on this page. Thanks in advance.

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