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How And When CEOs Should Address Political And Social Issues
From:
Edward Segal, Crisis Management Expert Edward Segal, Crisis Management Expert
Washington, DC
Friday, April 2, 2021

 

Crisis management expert and author Edward Segal said today the recent passage of a restrictive voting law in Georgia raises important questions on how, when, and why — or if — companies and organizations should take sides on this and other hot-button political and social issues of the day. Microsoft, Bank of America, and Patagonia are among the major companies who have voiced their opposition to the Georgia legislation.

He noted that, "After being criticized for their initial comments when the measure was enacted, Coca-Cola issued a second statement in as many days opposing the law. A company spokesperson has not responded to a request for an explanation of why they released the new statement. Delta Airlines also changed course, and issued a statement critical of the new law."

Segal notes in a story for Forbes.com that, "Corporate activism has been around for decades and was expected to continue during the Biden administration. But the increased polarization of the country and the tribal nature of politics has created fresh concerns about the consequences for businesses that speak up too early, too often or alienate or offend too many people."

"Whether and how corporations address issues such as social injustice and racial inequities can matter to employees," he added.

Segal cited a survey of 2,501 employees in the U.S.that provides insights into what some workers think about the positions their companies have taken on recent hot button issues. According to the recently released Workforce Mindset Study from Alight Solutions, "...less than half of U.S. employees feel proud of how their organization responded to the demonstrations in 2020.

Among other things,the study found that:

- During periods of social unrest, 51% of employees said their employer communicated about inclusion and diversity, but little action was taken afterward.

- 4 in 10 employees believed their employer needs to do more in response to social justice efforts—and that number jumps to 66% for Black employees.

Segal's article can be read at http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardsegal/2021/04/01/how-and-when-ceos-should-address-hot-button-political-and-social-issues/

He is the author of the recently published book on crisis management — "Crisis Ahead: 101 Ways to Prepare For and Bounce Back from Disasters, Scandals, and Other Emergencies" (Nicholas Brealey). It was named by Book Authority.com as the #1 best book to read on crisis management in 2020 and one of the best books of all time about the topic. Order a copy of and learn more about "Crisis Ahead" at https://publicrelations.com/order-book/

Segal also hosts the "Crisis Ahead" podcast which features guests who discuss their experiences and observations about various crisis management situations and what others can learn from those situations. 

The podcast can be seen on YouTubebat https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCwx26phRVnXdnnaJt71cqZw, and heard on Apple. Google and other podcast sites including Podbean at  https://thecrisisaheadpodcast.podbean.com/

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Name: Edward Segal
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