“Transforming companies into connected communities and ecosystems – opportunities and risks for reputation management” was the topic of a recent EACD debate hosted by Globeone in Zurich on June 24th.

Despite the heat, over 30 communication professionals joined the after work event and actively engaged on the topic in a “chill-out” atmosphere.

Dennis Larsen and Kerstin Liehr from ReputationInc kicked off the session by highlighting results of their joint EACD study on “The future of reputation risk management”. The research arrived at a blueprint of six areas companies should focus on to advance their reputation risk resilience.  A core finding was the importance of addressing internal sources of risk and ways to establish better risk awareness and cultural adjustments. Full research findings are available to EACD members and a follow up study on the relation between culture and reputation is in the works.

Médard Schoenemaeckers, EACD Board Member and global Head of Internal Communications at Credit Suisse, shared from his wealth of general communication experience and gave interesting insights into reputation management in the banking industry. He stressed that a key role of communicators is to be a mirror to the organization, and help build resilience to external developments.

Niina Eschmann, Head of Internal Comms and Content at ABB introduced her perspective on the blurring lines between internal and external communications, the challenges and opportunities and what this means for reputation management. “Engagement and collaboration are fundamental today” she emphasized.

Finally, Abby Guthkelch, Global Communication Solutions Lead at Workplace by Facebook, inspired with key insights of why connected communities are not a "nice to have" but mandatory for success in today’s business world. She explored how to build better connected communities within organizations drawing from Facebook's own experiences underpinned by the Workplace solution.

Lively discussions followed in the Q&A and everyone stayed on for drinks and interesting conversations afterwards. EACD Switzerland can certainly agree with Abby’s closing statement:  “we are only 1% finished on the journey” – next knowledge sharing and networking opportunities for the community are in the making.

Please save the date for September 5th.