Creating Wendolyn Reputation Management
One year ago, I gave myself a gift comprised of three parts: permission to walk into uncertain territory and try ideas new to the communications and PR sectors; trust that 20+ years of client service and a solid network would ensure a robust referral system; and confidence in both my abilities and to swiftly learn from mistakes.

This gift allowed me to cross from the steady and comfortable to the wild and unpredictable and create Wendolyn Reputation Management (announcement here). The vision required developing new services, unique partnerships, and different delivery models.

Twelve months later, Wendolyn Reputation Management exceeded my expectations, offering crisis communications, first-in-kind spokesperson training, and private sector ESG communications. I have managed communications around the unprecedented influx of migrants from Ukraine, supported schools navigating COVID-19, consulted on cyber security breaches, and helped companies showcase purpose alongside profit.

With gratitude, I share highlights from my first year with my (many) mentors and supporters. With humility, I also thank the clients who have trusted me with their most significant challenges and exciting opportunities.

And, what is the best news? That I'm still just getting started.
Developing first-in-kind media and spokesperson training
Diversity & inclusion training for organizational leadership
Combining 20+ years of communications and my certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, this course helps individuals, companies, and boards of directors to be more supportive of their internal and external stakeholders. This course addresses the overlap between the role of the spokesperson and organizational diversity and inclusion objectives.
Verbal communications and emotional intelligence
This course integrates emotional intelligence and non-verbal communication into an advanced training product for clients. Teaming up with behaviour analyst Angela Podolsky, this program equips senior leadership with the communication and kinesics skills to convey messages, build rapport, deliver impactful presentations, and win negotiations.
Developing customizable, mix-and-match training courses for executives, senior management, boards of directors, and other spokespersons has been a major highlight this year. Click here for my list of courses and workshops.
Delivering lectures and webinars
This M&A focused session looks at the role communications professionals can play as part of the transaction process. It explores how to prepare for sale by building awareness and enhancing reputation and the strategy around announcing the deal.
As business advisors, you flag everything from customer attrition and cash flow shortage to data security and exchange rate fluctuations. Will ESG risks make it onto the list of topics that you discuss with your clients this year? 

Sharing a return-to-work policy does not guarantee employees got the message. Messages translate the most important elements of a policy and deliver the information through the mediums employees use in digestible and memorable ways.
It has been an active year of speaking at conferences and private client events. Most sessions are valid for professional development credits.
Click here to book a session or to learn more.
Sharing commentary and thought leadership
Are professional advisors seeing the warning signs? ESG risks are not on the radar of private companies
I have a five-minute presentation for accountants and lawyers whose responsibility is to flag business risks for their clients. It takes three questions, and these advisors quickly see threats yet to be included in their client discussions and reports. 

Are you raising Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risk mitigation with your private sector clients? 

The answer is usually no. ESG is most widely tied to public markets, with the impact investment community taking the lead. The advisors explain that their private company clients tend not to have investors, and many businesses are not public-facing. 

Did you know that the supply chain is the business function most exposed to ESG risk? 

We talk about how difficult it is to have visibility beyond a company's direct suppliers. And we agree that: as long as there is a connection between businesses and their supply chain, there is a responsibility and, therefore, risk. 
At this point, the information is interesting, but the advisors are not sensing any imminent concern or required action. Then comes question three.

What would be the impact of your client losing its biggest customer because they were not sufficiently socially minded?
The light bulb goes off. This risk is material. 
The crises that lie ahead for 2022 and the case for action
As a crisis communicator, my job is to mitigate reputational damage to organizations from actions both in and beyond their control. However, like insurance, it is hard to convince clients to invest in planning for scenarios that only could have a serious and material business impact. Wishful thinking and inertia are a dangerous combination.

To anticipate future work (and help light a fire under current clients), I reached out to Stephen Mallory, President and CEO of Directors Global, one of Canada's top consulting practices dedicated to risk management. Directors Global has an annual list of top concerns for Canadian organizations that include the following for 2022:

Fear of ransomware, cyber breaches and other disruptive cyber-attacks continues to be high for businesses. Other concerns include risks from the shift to digitalization and remote working. As evidence of this concern, Directors Global points to Allianz Global Assistance's increase in 500 cyber claims in 2018 to over 1,100 claims in 2020, along with double the reports of extortion demands.
As a result, in addition to increasing prices for cyber insurance, insurance companies now look for evidence of controls on technology, backups, patching, training, and business continuity arrangements. 

Business Interruption: 
Cyber security, natural catastrophes and the health pandemic have increased concerns of supply chain disruptions. In addition, a growing reliance on technology and digitalization also threaten business continuity.
For additional articles, visit my website and connect on LinkedIn.
Wendolyn Reputation Management