The Goods January 2023

Welcome to 2023 — one month down, only eleven to go! This time of year is for communications leaders and their teams to begin preparing for the coming year, crafting strategies, designing new narratives, and identifying proactive ways to engage their audiences.

In the first 2023 edition of The Goods, we discuss the importance of a carefully curated crisis management plan in the wake of a recent situation that captured worldwide attention, and we discuss why transparency is key when managing a crisis. We highlight expert predicted communications trends for the year, along with some steps you can take to improve your ESG and DEI initiatives, as businesses and organizations are expected to address pressing social issues more than ever before.

The Goods is a newsletter for social impact communicators that helps you keep track of the latest updates, trends, industry best practices, and much more. This content is compiled and curated monthly by Jade Floyd and the team at Global Strategy Group.

Quick Hit: The world watched as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed recently during a Monday Night Football game, and there was concern about how the NFL would respond. The decision to cancel the game was praised, but many thought the decision took too long to be made. Overall, the response by the League and the Bills highlighted that work needs to be done to manage the uncertainties of an immediate crisis.

Your Takeaway: In times of crisis, be sure to put your people first and lead with compassion. Communicating regularly allows you to control the narrative. You need to be aware of and highlight the true focus of the crisis. Most importantly, you need to be prepared by having a plan in place to limit the chances of a PR disaster. (PR Daily)

Quick Hit: Many notable organizations have taken significant hits to their reputations after downplaying or covering up problems they faced.

Your Takeaway: Be transparent about the issues your organization runs into, clarify facts and address inaccuracies in a timely manner. The truth
about a situation will come out, and you can avoid a significant crisis by planning carefully to address the doubts that will emerge instead of trying to hide or downplay them. (PR News)

Quick Hit: This year promises to be eventful, and chief communications officers have varying views on the risks and opportunities that CEOs will
face in addressing potential challenges that may arise. Internal and external stakeholders have an increasing list of expectations for businesses, and CCOs are essential in communicating how these expectations are met.

Your Takeaway: Focus on your organization’s unique value proposition and highlight what separates your company from the competition. In light of conversations surrounding social justice and current affairs, you have to choose a side on important matters, as you risk hurting your reputation by attempting to play it safe. You should also continue to prioritize your employees through purposeful engagements, ESG frameworks, and DEI initiatives. (World Economic Forum)

Quick Hit: There has been pushback against the “ESG movement,” but the majority of stakeholders continue to see ESG as a necessity. ESG
communications may evolve as debates about their effectiveness continue to take place, but it remains essential as a company and organization to discuss your impact.

Your Takeaway: The standards of ESG communications may change, but continue to focus more on the “why” and “how” of your framework instead of simply stating figures. (Triple Pundit)

Quick Hit: Companies are more likely to be called out for “greenwashing” as they publicly fail to meet their impact targets. There are varying levels
of trust in ESG communications, but most believe greater transparency is needed.

Your Takeaway
: It is important to present your information in a way that is accessible and understandable to stakeholders. Using independent experts to assist with goal-setting, measuring, and reporting performance is likely to give your organization more credibility. (Sensu)

Quick Hit: Communicating an ESG story can be difficult for communications teams and executives, but it is necessary to build trust and credibility with stakeholders. There are steps that can be taken to have ESG become more integrated within your company.

Your Takeaway: Ensure that honest, clear communication is at the center of your ESG communications plan because transparency is necessary when building trust. It may be helpful to have regular ESG updates to show it is a priority for your business instead of one-off reports. (Sustainalytics)

Quick Hit: DEI programs tend to focus on race and gender while alienating other identity groups like social class, mental health, age, and neurodiversity, so it is important to broaden the scope.

Your Takeaway: DEI initiatives require a great deal of effort, so you can start by implementing smaller, more manageable tasks and programming, like newsletters, guest speakers and leadership discussions. Other steps you can use to improve your organization’s culture of diversity include using more inclusive language and having open discussions about power and privilege. (Entrepreneur)

Congratulations to GSG’s newest Partners

Congratulations to Angela Kuefler and Andrew Baumann who were recently announced as the newest Partners at GSG. Both widely respected Democratic pollsters across political and issue advocacy spaces, Kuefler and Baumann have played an integral role in building GSG’s Research practice into one of the biggest and most successful in the country.

Eye on the Economy

GSG recently released the latest installment of our Eye on the Economy research series. This report looks at voters’ changing perceptions of the
economy, personal financial challenges, and what government action on the economy would mean to voters. Thank you to everyone who tuned in
to our webinar to discuss our key findings!

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Global Strategy Group works at the intersection of business, politics, and causes. We are movement builders who craft winning communications campaigns for foundations, nonprofits and global impact brands. Follow GSG and our work on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Interested in our work? Get in touch.

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