Will Political Polarization Stop Companies From Supporting Social Causes?

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Will Political Polarization Stop Companies From Supporting Social Causes?

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Insight from the CEO of Steel City Re, an AC Client, was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

When it comes to taking a stance on either race or politics more generally, authenticity and consistency are key. That means going beyond one-off marketing campaigns and social media posts meant to bolster a brand’s image and signaling a deeper organizational commitment to principles-based causes by investing real time and money, brand and reputation analysts say.

Taking a stance on any social issue should start with a thorough evaluation of the company’s stakeholders, according to Nir Kossovsky, chief executive of Steel City Re LLC, a reputation risk management and insurance company.

Companies traditionally have divided responsibility for different stakeholders among different corporate functions—the human-resources department, for instance, manages employees, while marketing handles customers, general counsel or compliance officers deal with regulators, and so on.

Companies need someone who can gather information about different stakeholders and strategically manage the reputational risks associated with each, Mr. Kossovsky said.

“If you know what they want, you have a choice: make operations conform to their expectations or invest resources in managing their expectations to something you can meaningfully reach,” he said.