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AmiSight 11/29: How Should Entrepreneurs Think About Political and Reputational Risk

Today's podcast discusses political and reputational risks — and what we can do about them with the founder and CEO of Delve, Jeff Berkowitz.


Founded in 2015, Delve specializes in helping companies, industry groups, and advocacy coalitions stay ahead of the curve on the political and reputational risks and opportunities at the intersection of policy and business. Today, the firm provides high-stakes counsel and insights to C-suite executives, public affairs professionals, and their teams across various sectors.


During COVID, we found that local and state governments were making very impactful decisions on how businesses could operate. Jeff stresses the importance of knowing who your mayor is, the city council, who your state legislators are, and building these relationships. You want to avoid the first time you need to speak with them to be when you need something from them. "Make sure you're positively engaged in your community so you have those relationships with the folks that matter to those governing the jurisdictions in which you operate."


We then discussed the painful exercise; what could bring your business to its knees? "Understanding that these risks are real is an important point. You put yourself at a disadvantage by not preparing." Jeff advises his clients to go through crisis prevention thinking and build out responses - writing out exactly what they would say. He encourages them to look regularly at their crisis plans because, in this day and age, you don't have much time to respond.


Jeff's advice is to know who can bring about those business-harming or business-killing impacts from a policy and regulatory perspective in your community, in your state - and make sure you're building relationships with them. Be a good community stakeholder, know the neighborhoods you operate in and ensure that your employees work in a way that they can be proud of and you can be proud of. And then, know who you are as a company before you’re called to account for it.


Tune in to learn more about leveraging competitive intelligence to overcome public affairs: https://bit.ly/3XFSBbl


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