In the latest issue of Communication Director, our guest authors discuss shared responsibility and the impact of corporate activism in a rapidly changing world.
As we look back on a turbulent year, one possible strategy for a more hopeful new year is to consider how each of us as individuals can help make the organisations we work for more responsible, more purposeful and more socially aware.
The lack of strong leadership has never been more apparent than in today’s volatile world: the challenges of globalisation, technological change, immigration issues and the rise of populism all demand clear reactions and responsibility. Against this backdrop, organisations are increasingly expected to speak up, promote values – whether social, environmental or even political – and take a stand over any number of issues outside of their immediate operating environment. Private political opinions that were once firmly left outside the office door are in danger of knocking down that door, and companies can no longer avoid being embroiled public debates.
But to what extent should an organisation actively become involved in social and political issues? If opinions are so divided, how can one organisation hope to stand up for one half of their audience without alienating the other half? Can engaging with activists, promoting values and stopping the spin result in a competitive advantage? How should communicators enable this dialogue with sensitivity – and where does all this leave the ethical ideals of the corporate communicator and public relations professional? We explore these and other questions in our new issue, alongside the usual mix of insights, analysis and best practice from the many facets of corproate communications.