Answer These Questions Before Taking a Public Position on Social Issues

There is no shortage of PR pros and pundits offering advice about how companies should respond to controversial social issues. Company executives ask whether or not to take a public position. If so, should they speak proactively or only in response to media inquiries? Or, should they discuss an issue internally only, with employees?

Historically, companies avoided public comment on controversial social issues. But today’s stakeholder demands more from companies.

The answer is not simply that this is a 50/50 problem. For example, if you speak out you might alienate half of your employees or customer base. Nor is it as easy as just keeping your mouth shut.

The decision whether to take a public position on a sensitive topic should be met with urgent, but careful, discernment and rooted in mission and values. The highest levels of the company, e.g.


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