How to Respond to Social and Political Issues

For the Directors & Boards' Board Guide to Political Engagement, four governance experts gave their views on how to respond to social and political issues in the present-day atmosphere.                 Richard Levick Crisis Communications Specialist Chairman and CEO, Levick   For the most part, companies have followed the Milton Friedman axiom that “the business of business is business” and have largely stayed away from the third rail of politics. But it’s become much more complicated now. Faith in institutions like Congress, the media and even the Supreme Court is at historic lows, and people are looking to others for leadership. Democracy and capitalism are voluntary systems. We each make a tiny sacrifice for the greater whole. That’s lost right now. In many ways, companies are the last bastion of hope and leadership. That’s why, at this moment, it’s important for them to step up periodically with care and sensitivity on issues that meet their business criteria: issues that speak to the brand, speak to their stakeholders and are part of who they are.   There are several key factors boards and management teams should consider. Rule number one is to know what you stand for. If you’re just a fungible product competing on either availability or price, there’s too much elasticity in the ability for your customers to go other places and no elasticity in terms of the love of your brand, because it doesn’t stand for anything. Your brand is everything, but it’s ...

Other related article