Episode #77: Safety is NOT Your Top Priority

Guest: Sean Murphy, Practice Leader - CSI Critical Communications

Sean Murphy, Practice Leader, CSI Critical Communications joins Dr. Steve Wood to talk about the myth that safety is the top priority for most businesses. Many company communications, mission statements, and handbooks default to stating that the safety of their employees/customers/shareholders/community is the foremost priority of their business, but this unnecessarily blanket claim can create potential litigation issues in the future. And this issue has become even more pervasive since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sean and Steve discuss the importance of companies aligning their crisis communications with their litigation strategy and understanding the potential legal ramifications of a seemingly innocuous public statement. They specifically discuss the myth about "Safety being the top priority" for a company and how, when Covid hit, many companies sent out messages that stated that the safety of their customers and employees and communities was their top priority, but how safety should be communicated as A priority but not THE top priority. Sean explains how the messaging and positioning of the concept of safety should be handled and how, now that companies are deciding to bring employees back into the office, opening up their businesses/stores, etc., how they should craft their messaging to limit future litigation risk and exposure.

Sean and Steve discuss the importance of doing research to figure out what messaging will resonate with your target audience, plus crafting messaging that doesn't box you in in the future. They also talk about using messaging that is specific to what the business is doing to address the specifics of the crisis situation they find themselves in, rather than simply defaulting to the headline of "safety is our top priority".