PRSA submitted a letter to the editor ofThe Economist
in response to a Dec. 9, 2010, article
concerning the growing reputiational challenges for corporations. PRSA emphasized the need for companies and executives to be transparent in their internal and external communications, per the PRSA Code of Ethics
To The Editor:
SIR — Your article examining concerns within corporations about protecting their confidential digital files in light of WikiLeaks turning its attention to businesses (“Be Afraid
,” Dec. 9) missed one other key concern for CEOs: managing corporate reputation.
The coming year will undoubtedly see more attacks on corporations’ confidential and sensitive information. This will leave executives attempting to manage the “gotcha!” whims of virtual groups that don’t play by conventional rules of engagement. CEOs will never again know if, or when, an assault on their company’s reputation is coming, or whom from within is leaking the information.
Viewing WikiLeaks as an enemy threat to corporations would be a mistake. Instead, its efforts should be seen as an opportunity; a global call to action for CEOs to transparently present their full and honest side of the story. And while it may sound clichéd, there is a simple and highly effective solution that every executive should adopt: Be as transparent as possible. Always.
Gary D. McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA
Chair and CEO
Public Relations Society of America