NACD Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Advisory Council: Communicating in Times of Crisis

In brief: Corporate crises continue to dominate headlines, exacting a high cost on businesses and often exposing breakdowns in how companies respond to and effectively communicate with their stakeholders. To help boards enhance their crisis communication plans, NACD, Heidrick & Struggles, and Sidley Austin LLP co-hosted a meeting of the NACD Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Advisory Council— comprising Fortune 500 company nominating and governance committee chairs and lead directors—on April 24, 2019, in Washington, DC. Council delegates were joined by guests from Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Strategic Governance Advisors for a portion of the meeting. The Council’s discussion identified several takeaways to inform board oversight of crisis communications:

  • Find the North Star in the organization’s message.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities for communications.
  • Keep employee communications balanced.
  • Manage the tension between mitigating liability and getting the firm’s message out.
  • Invest in communication with investors during “peacetime.”

This resource can help your board:

  • prioritize messaging during a crisis,
  • examine communication alignment with key stakeholders; and
  • improve scalable investor communication.

Most relevant audiences: nominating and governance committee members, general counsel