social risk crisis

Social Risk Webinar Recap

November 19, 2020

We have long thought about risk as falling definitively into one of three categories: Strategic, Preventable, and External. Organizations tend to understand the impact these kinds of risks have on their operations and are pretty adept at mitigating them and responding to them. Dealing with a data breach, a failed product launch or an industrial accident follows traditional, straightforward playbooks for crisis response.

Social Risk is an emerging, different category of risk that we’ve identified, and those traditional playbooks no longer apply. Social Risks arise from impacts to populations and are driven by influences within each of us. These human-centric risks tend to take on a negative tone in conversations, especially online. They often have political undertones and focus on divides between “haves” and “have nots.” Social Risks include public dialogue around LGBTQ issues, racial justice issues, climate change, the pandemic, and other movements based on human conditions.

Expectations are Higher than Ever Before for Social Risk

The public’s expectations of corporations and brands are higher, and writing a check to a cause or saying “that’s not our lane” won’t cut it anymore. Even a well-crafted statement is not enough. Actions must follow words.

In this webinar, we begin to unpack Social Risk and its implications for risk management and crisis communications. We analyzed more than 4 million data points including social media conversations, news stories, and blogs to measure public sentiment around Social Risk. From this analysis, we were able to make some initial recommendations, including a number of steps you can take right now to address Social Risk within your organization. These actions are summarized in our Social Risk Action Matrix, which you can download below.

Social Risk Matrix

We defined Social Risk, discussed its key traits and characteristics, and explored tactics for understanding and mitigating these risks throughout the webinar. We will continue to explore these challenging, population-based risks and mitigation strategies in the coming months. 

Watch a replay of the Social Risk Webinar here!

Filed under: Blog | Crisis Planning


Bill is a reputation management, crisis communications and professional development expert, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance panelist, and best-selling author of Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management. He has more than 25 years of global experience managing high-stakes crises, issues management, and media relations challenges for both Fortune 500 companies and winning global political campaigns.