Communications services for the next decade
It is exciting to share more good news about the progress of Wendolyn Reputation Management.
Below I have included:
  • My latest article on crisis communications.
  • The announcement of my Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University.
  • Information on an upcoming panel discussion that I will be moderating with leaders in the ESG field.
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 includes 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. The Business Continuity Tool Kit available at Benson Kearley is an example of new innovative guides for companies looking at proactive risk management using internal resources. 

Natural Catastrophes: 
Climate change is increasing business concern about overexposure to the effects of floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and winter freezes. Look no further than British Columbia's double hit from devastating wildfires in the summer that destroyed the town of Lytton B.C., and record flooding at the end of 2021. Directors Global explains the financial risks are becoming increasingly difficult for insurers to quantify and actuarially price; hence, like with cyber, insurers are leaving this space or radically re-pricing their offerings. For some businesses, self-insurance is the only option, especially for companies in jurisdictions with a history of exposure to these conditions.

Business concerns around COVID-19 remain because of unpredictable threats of unknown consequences, new strains, and mutations of the virus. Despite government intervention, many businesses have not survived this pandemic or have been so damaged that they are unlikely to survive a significant new wave. Directors Global adds another critical concern from the pandemic: the shortage of skilled workers, one of the drivers behind the current 'great resignation'. 

After speaking to Stephen Mallory, I had one question: Are threats of cyber-attacks, business interruptions, natural disasters, and a pandemic enough to motivate more businesses (of all sizes!) to start crisis communications planning? 

In 2019, 95 per cent of PWC's Global Crisis Survey respondents said they expected a crisis to hit within the next two years, but only 30 per cent of respondents to the 2021 survey said they had a crisis management team in place when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

If the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, then, sadly, the answer to this last question is – no, not yet.

Additional articles and interviews can be found here.
Diversity & inclusion training
I am proud to share news of my certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

This knowledge will make a richer experience for those participating in my Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging workshop for organizational spokespersons.

In response to increasing pressures on individuals, companies, and boards of directors to be more supportive of all people in their workforce, this workshop addresses the overlap between the role of the spokesperson and organizational diversity and inclusion objectives.

This training is a new addition to the series of spokesperson training courses offered by Wendolyn Reputation Management.

The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging workshop can stand alone or be added to my other training sessions.
ESG as Risk Mitigation
As business advisors, you red 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?  

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a term for the non-financial factors now being measured and analyzed to identify corporate risks and opportunities.

ESG risks are most commonly discussed in the context of public and investor-focused industries, but there is growing pressure on private businesses of ALL sizes to commit to PURPOSE as much as PROFIT.

On June 7, I will be moderating ESG as Risk Mitigation, a panel discussion with Ian Lifshitz, Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at Asia Pulp & Paper and Michelle Reid, Community Engagement and Activation Lead at B Lab US/Canada.  

The session will examine:

  • Using ESG as a risk identification
  • Mitigating supply chain risks
  • Reporting in the private sector

  • The role of communication  

This session qualifies for 1 accounting CPD hour.
Wendolyn Reputation Management