Risk readiness now requires an actor-based intelligence approach
When the World Economic Forum (WEF) came out with their Global Risks Report 2021 earlier this year, it highlighted the need for a greater focus on improving risk readiness as a way for organizations to build resilience. In their view, many organizations’ approaches to risk mitigation looked “increasingly outdated,” adding that “in a world of accelerating challenges, static annual documents need to make room for continuous horizon-scanning for early indicators of change and associated timelines for action.”
How the brand risk landscape is transforming
The social, political and economic risks facing today’s organizations are multidimensional and moving quickly as companies encounter a myriad of new challenges during the pandemic. This period of pervasive change has created a constant state of risk mitigation where “communications leaders are operating in a perpetual crisis mode,” with no sign of the pace slowing down.
Crisp recently surveyed this important audience to better understand how their role is expanding while a world of constant change accelerates around them and their companies. Our Communications Leaders Risk Survey, conducted in partnership with Kroll, asked 100 leading communicators in North America and Europe, most from companies with annual revenue in excess of USD 1 billion, what they see on the risk horizon.
The survey reinforced that the role of communications leaders, especially during the pandemic, has become critical to sharing timely and accurate messaging on all aspects of their business. As the manager of information flow for their companies, they sit at the crossroads of an offline world and an online world, both moving at the speed of superhighways without a stop light, and shared by multiple stakeholder audiences.
Despite the fact that 88% of those surveyed are taking on greater responsibility for identifying and mitigating risks, it’s no wonder more than two-thirds (69%) of communications leaders say it’s getting increasingly difficult to anticipate risks emerging from that online world of digital chatter, making it challenging to predict and prevent an issue from becoming a crisis.
An emerging blind spot for communications leaders
With questions about the veracity of information shared online continuing to grow, communications leaders are realizing they need to turn their attention to the actors in online communities who perpetuate false narratives and amplify risks through digital chatter.
As more user communities come online, so too do opportunities for bad actors, activists, agenda-driven and interest groups to coordinate and exploit them. These actors move through and around multiple digital platforms to reach their targets. Each group is dynamic, using digital chatter in different ways, and continuously evolving their tactics and tradecraft.
Only by understanding the hidden connections between these actors and their groups can communications leaders gain an early-warning advantage over risks originating or being amplified online through digital chatter. Unfortunately, for every organization who isn’t adopting an actor-based intelligence approach to risk mitigation, there is an actor eager to exploit this blind spot.
Adopting an Actor-Based Risk Intelligence Approach
This past year has exposed the risk readiness of many companies, and it has inspired new resilience models for identifying and mitigating risks. If your organization is struggling to keep up with issues originating or being amplified online, it’s time to adopt an actor-based intelligence approach to risk management. Here are some important questions to consider:
- Has your organization successfully adopted an interdisciplinary approach to risk management, across communications, marketing, legal, HR, security and operations?
- Has your organization been the target of an organized group or internet-savvy actor who’s exploited digital chatter to harm your brand, assets or people in the past year?
- Is your organization still relying on traditional social media listening tools to identify and mitigate risks originating or being amplified online?
- Is your leadership team and board aware of the role actors play in originating or accelerating risks online beyond those traditionally identified in risk registers?
- If your organization has a formalized risk intelligence capability, is it AI-based? Human intelligence-based? Or both? Preferably both.
When an organization is unable to acclimate to this new world of new risks, it can turn to a risk intelligence partner with an actor-based approach. Crisp is a fully managed early-warning risk intelligence service combining AI with human intelligence. This unique formula analyzes millions of digital conversations in real time, revealing hidden relationships between actors and groups to predict potential impacts as early as possible.
Our AI technology has been trained for over 15 years, and is uniquely modeled around the risks posed to today’s global organizations. When coupled with the deep industry expertise of our analysts, Crisp provides intelligence on the agendas, tradecraft and interplay of actors and groups that threaten brands. We also deliver enterprise-grade protection against corporate or public safety incidents created by security threats to assets or to the safety and well-being of employees, brand VIPs and the public.
Today Crisp defends $4.5 trillion in combined market capitalization for over 100 brands. We can protect yours too. Learn more about Crisp Corporate Risk Intelligence here.
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