Protect Your Reputation.
Critical Issues Management
Moving minds to preserve trust.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett
To prevent or manage a crisis, skilful communication composes our clients to lead.
Cyber security attacks and data breaches are not uncommon. As a result, crisis have dramatically risen over the last decade at an alarming rate. This requires the discipline to mitigate critical issues at a new pace.
Effective crisis response to reputation recovery must shift perceptions and preserve trust.
When mishandled, reputational crisis can rapidly escalate putting stakeholder livelihoods and businesses at risk.
Our team can counsel organisations across many sectors, including corporates, mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, government entities and high-profile individuals to tackle a range of media preparedness, reputational advice and communication challenges.
We help the Board, CEO and leadership team take decisive action to protect their corporate and personal reputations.
Crisis can build resilience for a company to take proactive measures for the future. We provide clarity in all matters of reputation response and take courageous action that’s stakeholder-sensitive and communicated to transition perception to achieve better outcomes.
Summit Communication is a leader in critical issues management.
What we do.
We collaborate to advise leaders on all reputational matters, including: employee dismissals, misconduct, M&A, litigation communications, regulatory and public affairs, shareholder activism, and other critical issues management.
Critical Issue Analysis
For businesses the vulnerability spectrum has widened. To prevent or manage a live crisis, our initial assessment is to identify which of the six factors of a reputation are most vulnerable, these are: external environment, shareholder alignment, ESG and regulatory risk management, business trust, board governance, values and employee culture. We align context first, then lay a roadmap to lead.
Crisis Response Control
We work to develop a clear perspective on the specific opportunities for risk mitigation and value creation that can strengthen a company responding to a crisis. What emerges is the right decisions and approach to a live situation.
This guides the expedient development of messages, media response materials, faqs, and management training. It serves as a development framework for future crisis capability and reputation protection protocol.
Live Situation Management
Every company’s needs in a crisis will be dynamically unique. Live issues have a vanishingly thin margin for error, which is why our response team is available on-call around the clock until the crisis is contained or completed. Sophisticated optics allow us to monitor and deliver planned response to the conversation as it unfolds.
Preventive Measure Reputation Programmes
Once we’ve helped you close the crisis gaps, debriefs capture and log learnings, and sharpen focus for the future. Post-crisis we take a deep dive into research and analysis that is more rigorous to protect your company’s future reputation through its programme.
Our governance playbook comprises six specialist client offers that can be combined to develop the action-oriented solution that’s right for your company.
We conduct board and management interviews, perception audits, deep analysis of ESG risk issues, company reputation research, employee engagement and digital reputation. The best indemnity measures help you articulate its purpose in the world and in your position in the industry, and through organisational activities, we help you live up to these promises.
We work with Boards, CEO’s, and leadership teams to map risks, opportunities and tailor a proactive approach to reputation protection, covering key areas of governance, corporate affairs, stakeholder engagement and ESG strategy.
Every company’s needs in a crisis will be dynamically unique. From corporate fraud to mining disasters, logistic crashes to major pharmaceutical recalls. Successful situation management is not merely surviving but emerging on the other side in a stronger position.
After the situation has occurred, we prepare a fast-track critical issue analysis to prepare all key people for the reputation risks at stake. In hours, not days, we deliver scenario planned responses, on-demand crisis counsel and media training to clarify your position.
Live issues have a vanishingly thin margin for error, which is why our response team is available 24/7 until the crisis is contained or completed.
In high-stakes situations, we use sophisticated optics and social listening to precisely monitor and deliver planned response as public discussion unfolds. Our team will iterate position statements conformed to relevant media and social media at speed.
For smaller crisis concerns or critical issues management, we provide on-call counsel at casual hourly rates.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Reputation risk prevention requires that companies lean into their problems, only then can effective plan be prepared.
Our reputation risk prevention process involves establishing a detailed inventory of all known and predicable issues. This guides and prioritises the matters that take critical precedent. Stakeholder analysis and detail action plans can then be presented to the board and key members of the management team.
For other stakeholders across the value-chain we design and introduce a critical issues guidebook. This often contains a fact base, Q&A, media engagement provisions, messaging, materials, and how-to guides for each group’s measures. Our strength lies in our ability to accommodate a breadth of issues and scope while executing flawlessly for our clients.
Online Reputation Protection
For many clients the biggest threat to their reputation is online. Damaging reviews on Google and Facebook and in online forums can corrode trust rapidly, because 67% of the decision-making process happens in the digital world. Sometimes, we’re able to work to the platforms policies to remove defamatory reviews or comments, othertimes suppression sites are required.
To protect a client’s online reputation, offense is better than defence. It takes 13 positive reviews to mitigate the harm achieved by 1 negative review, this gives our mathematical target. We use our clients’ stakeholder channels, such as social media and email lists, to keep this ratio balanced – protecting built up and on display trust in the organisation
We have long-relationships with our clients and do not take for granted the trust and responsibility they give us. That responsibility is abruptly felt when they experience the difficulty of crisis.
While you may not be able to optimally manage a crisis without proper expertise, you can lead through an issue. Sound leadership is defined by the ability to clearly define the issues and take confident action. Tactical plays alone won’t cut it. Leaders need to be at once graceful, but also, expect to win – and then communicate that through every action taken.
We work with clients to identify the key scenarios in an organisation’s ecosystem, the critical challenges and implications for stakeholders, messaging and actions. Together, we plan for effective leadership in a mission control room during a crisis and simulate a refined leadership response.
This increases organisational resilience and extends beyond the immediacy of any potential crisis to the necessity of imagining a new world of possibilities and building your resources to handle it.
Scenario planning starts with removal of the psychological prejudices that can blind companies and its individuals and render them unprepared for a ‘black swan’ event. We observe the consequences of a business catastrophe, by accessing its external and internal factors of threat, this helps us develop an all-weather strategy for you.
The crisis presentation and management strategy inform the actions required in dealing with an incident. For high-stakes scenarios our team work with you to make the strategy as tangible as possible in advance, this includes: development of a fact base, messages, key materials, how-to guides, media protocol, responsibilities assigned to key managers, Q&A and alternate response routes for critical situations with a higher risk of escalation.
Prepare your organisation for the unknowable. The payoff for business when it turns talk into action is trust. Crisis simulation includes training and rehearsal and can be executed through virtual meetings or inperson workshops.
Crisis simulation upskills your key people with heightened interactions, it develops stakeholder-centric communication skills and identifies risks that haven’t been considered.
Are your crisis prevention communications in place, or do you need a second opinion? Do you need a critical issues policy, or perhaps some reassurance that you’re on the right track?
Summit Communication Group are available 24/7 for crises and PR issues.
We partner with clients across a diverse range of sectors and verticals. We are retained as advocates on behalf of our clients, each engagement reveals distinct opportunities and challenges. Our view is that clients deserve representation if they are committed to evidence-based, truthful and effective communications – we can help you to see around corners on your business journey.
Reputation at risk?
You talk. We listen. Discretion assured.
Speak to a senior counsel
Learn how we’ve helped others: