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Welcome to our second edition of Powell Tate Insights. And thanks to all of you who reached out after our first issue with virtual high fives, reactions and ideas for future issues.
This month, we start with two big issues: geopolitical risk and media security.
Below you’ll see a snapshot of our recent research on these topics – and a quick take on steps companies need to take now to protect their reputation and operations.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, is underway in Glasgow, and we have perspective from our global sustainability taskforce on what to watch for at this critical gathering, as well as what we’re anticipating post-COP26.
Closer to home, it’s the day after Election Day, with pivotal off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey, as the countdown to the 2022 midterms begins in earnest.
Meanwhile, our team is delighting in the fact that our DC office is open again (on a voluntary basis and with safety measures in place) and that we’ve been able to reconnect with colleagues in person. And we’re looking ahead with anticipation to our new hybrid way of working in 2022.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.


-- Paul Massey, President, Powell Tate
As global businesses rethink, reevaluate and reassess their role in a post-COVID world and amid heightened geopolitical competition, how they communicate their value and values to all relevant stakeholders is paramount.
According to the latest research from our Geopolitical Risk and Strategy Group, one stakeholder is rising in importance: a company's home country.

Our survey of 1,217 multinational business executives in 12 countries, conducted in partnership with KRC Research, found:
  • Nearly six in 10 multinational business executives (58%) say their company’s home country is a “very” important stakeholder to their business, second only to customers (63%) and equivalent to shareholders. 
  • Eight-seven percent (87%) of executives agree – 44 percent “strongly” agree – their companies should be prepared to take a more public position on geopolitical issues over the next five years.

To learn more, email our colleague, Michelle Giuda, EVP of Geopolitical Risk & Strategy. 
Explore the Report
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In a recent survey, 87 percent of global executives told us that disinformation is one of the greatest reputation risks businesses face today.
To help leaders better understand and mitigate the effects of information disorders, Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate recently launched the Media Security Center.

Powered by our AI-driven technology, insights from some of the leading institutions combating misinformation and disinformation, and an exclusive partnership with threat detection platform Blackbird.AI, the Media Security Center allows us to help clients navigate a volatile media landscape with tailored solutions to protect reputation and commercial interest.

Learn More about the Media Security Center
The Media Security Center also offers immersive education and training sessions on misinformation. In one recent session, Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann spoke with Chris Krebs, founding director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and CEO of Krebs Stamos Group, about the resulting geopolitical, reputational and security risks and how to reclaim the narrative. “[American corporations everywhere are] being used as pawns in a much larger game,” warned Krebs.
More Media Security Insights and Research
The big question on the agenda at COP26, November 1-12, is how governments plan to act in the shift toward net zero carbon emissions. 

The world is watching for countries’ latest targets and commitments, as well as updates on climate financing and regulation. 

Many companies will report progress on their climate pledges, including efforts to transition to renewable energy, electrify vehicle fleets and promote sustainable sourcing and supply chains.

Our latest reputation advisory outlines actions companies should consider following COP26 as they chart their own path toward sustainability, including anticipating new regulations.

Read the Reputation Advisory
Micho Spring, chair of Weber Shandwick’s global corporate practice, wrote in Fast Company about leading a divided workforce.

Micho notes that beyond the current vaccination challenge, businesses have a role to play in building consensus and making progress – from being corporate advocates to actively bridging societal divides.

Read in Fast Company
PRovoke Media named Pam Jenkins, chair of Powell Tate and president of Weber Shandwick’s global public affairs practice, to its Innovator 25, a list of the top 25 changemakers meeting the unique challenges of our industry, clients and society. Pam brings insights and imagination to all that she does to shape high-impact solutions, and we’re proud to celebrate with her. 
Read Pam's Innovator 25 Profile
For the second year in a row, PRWeek named Weber Shandwick Purpose Agency of the Year. The PRWeek Purpose Awards recognize the organizations and individuals who take creative ideas and turn them into purposeful, difference-making change.

PRWeek honored Weber Shandwick’s work – internally and on behalf of clients – to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, address climate change and end systemic racism. We couldn’t be more energized by the back-to-back recognition – and the clients at the center of this work. 

More on the PRWeek Purpose Awards
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back in touch next month. 
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