In PR Daily, Richard Levick offers up raw truths about reputation management and offers tips on how to position organizations for future success.
Pick almost any public affairs issue out of a hat and Richard Levick will not only share his unvarnished opinion but he will back it up with a passionate accounting of historical truths that make the listener a true believer.
As the chairman and CEO of LEVICK, a global crisis, public affairs and litigation agency based in Washington, D.C., Levick muses on a few current issues we selected out of the Ragan hat. The longtime agency leader doesn’t disappoint.
Let’s start with the communicator’s role during this dual crisis of pandemic and social unrest.
“The only way to have a seat at the table is to earn it,” says Levick, an attorney by trade whose firm has led communications strategies related to the Catholic Church, Guantanamo Bay, more than 150 product recalls and the largest environmental disaster in the past decade. He sees communicators as key participants in the corporate board room. “If you don’t have a seat at the table now, then you’re never going to get it.”
The ongoing social justice issues being debated in our country are exposing the strengths and weaknesses of organizations and their brands.
“Companies want to do the right thing, but many don’t know how,” he says, referring to organizations’ stepped-up diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. “They have to wake up to the fact that diversity and inclusion is not a ‘thing’ that’s going away. We had far more people protesting during Black Lives Matter than during the Vietnam War. Think about that.”
Levick advises brands to identify and understand their “tribe” and communicate and connect in ways that matter to those constituents. He points to Apple as a quintessential example of a brand that gets inside the mind of a consumer, the first computer company to display its logo on the machine’s exterior and to put a high premium on design. Starbucks, he offers, is another brand that has not only connected with its consumers but changed their habits and ways of speaking. “Starbucks forced you to learn a new language,” says Levick, reeling off a little Italian by way of latte macchiato, grande and venti…Read more