ESG Pros Differ About Who Should Lead Companies on Social Issues

diversity hands in

[Editor's Note: As part of the PRNEWS Social Impact Awards April 20, 2022, in Pentagon City, VA, we convened a roundtable of honorees. We discussed a variety of issues, from who should decide which social issues work best for a company, when to communicate a position and how to resuscitate a stagnant ESG effort. The range of views expressed indicates that few hard, fast rules exist in the ESG sphere.

The roundtable participants were: Jazmin Eusébio, diversity, inclusion and belonging senior specialist and senior account executive, Highwire PR; Gigi Garcia Russo, chief innovation and growth officer, Hunter; Andrew Jarrell, chief strategy officer, Group Gordon;  Curtis Sparrer, principal and co-founder, Bospar; Jaclyn Tacoronte, managing partner, JMT;  and David Vossbrink, communications counsel. Their remarks were lightly edited for space and clarity.]

PRNEWS: What can PR pros do to help a company decide when, and if, to speak out on an issue? Do you recommend a formal process or one where the C-suite alone is responsible for staking out positions? 

Curtis Sparrer, co-founder, Bospar

Curtis Sparrer: The first rule of thought leadership is to lead. That means you will need to act first, before your cohorts.

As a leadership team, we approached the Texas abortion ban like crisis PR. We knew it was an issue and alerted our team to how to address it.  We surveyed staff members and discovered some of them were already pricing relocation costs.


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