Wharton Executive Education to Hold Live Webinar on Corporate Reputation Management

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“Safeguard your Corporate Reputation” will feature Wharton Professor and global expert Witold Henisz discussing a critical process for stakeholder management.

A mobile phone, a Twitter account, and a grudge — in 2014 that could be all it takes to strike the match that sends a company's corporate reputation up in flames. But managing a public relations disaster starts months, perhaps even years, before these situations arise. Resolving them requires a strategy that goes beyond the conventional measures of holding a press conference or issuing a press release.

On March 5 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST, join Wharton Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for a live webinar on Corporate Diplomacy: Building Reputations and Relationships with External Stakeholders, in which Wharton faculty will discuss the importance of safeguarding a company's reputation before disaster strikes.

Some of the world’s most successful companies have been the target of reputational crises—many of which, says Wharton Management professor and global expert on corporate diplomacy Witold Henisz, could have been avoided or better handled.

Henisz will lead the live webinar for executives interested in learning how to guard against these risks. “Activists are increasingly able to access virtually everything companies or their suppliers do anywhere in the world. The financial and reputational damage an individual or group is capable of causing can be catastrophic. Avoiding or mitigating the damage must start months and years ahead.”

Henisz’s research, culminating in an upcoming (April 2014) book on the topic, and his work as a trusted advisor to corporations, have helped him develop a six-step process for corporate reputation management which he will discuss. His approach goes beyond community outreach or a strict financial focus. During the live webinar, Henisz will also take questions from the online audience to help participants understand how they can make corporate diplomacy work within their own organizations.

The webinar will be an introduction to concepts Henisz will teach in Wharton’s new executive education program Corporate Diplomacy: Building Reputations and Relationships with External Stakeholders.
“It is not enough to have insights into this process,” says Henisz. “Diplomacy takes action.” He identifies the first step as due diligence—something often taken for granted or not fully considered by companies moving into new markets. It can be difficult to identify key stakeholders when many individuals and/or groups claim to be vital to your efforts, and it’s easy to make assumptions about their preferences and needs when there are cultural differences.

In this new Wharton Executive Education program, Henisz provides an analytical approach for due diligence that removes guesswork from the process. He uses tools such as stakeholder and issue maps to help executives think broadly about who their allies, opponents, and everyone in between, might be. Next, he incorporates this information within traditional discounted cash flow methodology to identify the costs and benefits of corporate diplomacy. He combines these analytic components with behavioral tools and frameworks to help shape your relationships with stakeholders and your own organizational mindset. These include emotional intelligence, crisis communications, influence and persuasion and leadership. Moving forward on all of these components is a challenge but an increasingly vital one in today’s hyper-connected economy.

Corporate Diplomacy also features sessions with Wharton faculty and guest speakers with extensive experience handling corporate communications crises. These experts include: Edward W. Gillespie, founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that provides high-level advice to companies and CEOs, coalitions and trade associations; and Carlos Gutierrez, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Kellogg Company and U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2005 to 2009.

To register for the live March 5 webinar, please visit: https://whartonvc.connectsolutions.com/safeguardyourcorporatereputation/event/event_info.html

For more information about Wharton's Corporate Diplomacy program, or to enroll, please call +1.215.898.1776 or visit http://www.WhartonCorporateDiplomacy.com.

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

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