Attacks in the media: to accept or to react? That is the question


A medium-sized industrial firm with global operations. The firm focuses chiefly on its own markets, and the nature of its business leads to weak connections between the firm and the community in which the production facility is located.



After many years in which the firm and the local community have mutually “ignored” each other, the firm increasingly comes under attack in local media. Articles raise doubts concerning the safety of its facilities, the environmental impact of its operations and the risks for the population residing in the surrounding area. Growing hostility towards the firm leads to involvement by municipal and regional institutions which, in addition to increasing pressure for greater transparency at the firm, also calls into question authorisation for a planned expansion of the plant.

The firm, whose facilities comply with all local, national and international regulations, would like to issue a strong response to the attacks, demonstrating that its accusers are wrong and setting the record straight.

Is this the right thing to do?



SRI suggested working to create a proper perception among the local stakeholders of the value that the firm has generated for the community.

Know who you’re talking to

Mapping of stakeholders in the community, which defines:

  • Who they are

  • What type of attitude they have towards the firm and why

  • What issues they are interested in

  • The channels through which they can be reached

Increase transparency

Creation of a publication that summarises the firm’s:

  • Environmental impact

  • Social impact

  • Economic impact

Strategy and commitment to sustainability

Commit to the community


Draw up a plan for sponsorships and related activities in support of some local non-profit organisations


Increase awareness of the firm’s true character  

Define and implement a communication plan oriented towards the stakeholders


  • After approximately 12 months the firm has identified and established positive relationships with local stakeholders.

  • This activity has provided considerable positive visibility for the firm in local media.

  • The firm is now perceived as generating value for the community, and not as an outsider.

  • The sustainability report has also been used as a way of supporting the business, transmitting an image of a transparent and sustainable firm.

Crisis Communication Stakeholder Management