A framework for dealing with Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) issues has been launched by Allegory as part of its report Corporate Digital Responsibility: What You Need To Know Right Now.
A panel of experts, academics and industry professionals from organisations, think tanks and associations convened to work on the report in April 2021, including Office for National Statistics deputy director of communications Karen Campbell-White, Open Data Institute learning & business development director Stuart Coleman, Academy for Board Excellence CEO Janhavi Dadarkar, Huddersfield University chair of corporate communication Anne Gregory and ODI director of communication & marketing Emma Thwaites.
CDR, which shares many elements with ESG (Environment, Society, and Governance), is a major trend within PR, comms and corporations this year. According to the report, comms practitioners can play a significant role in its adoption.
‘Communications professionals have a pivotal role to play in the process of making organisations CDR-fit,’ says Allegory CEO Charlotte McLeod. ‘To do so, they need to be fully immersed in the issues surrounding data management and processing in their organisations to offer the best professional advice and support possible.’
Allegory’s report posits that C-suite leaders and communicators, with support from data governance experts, should approach CDR as a strategic issue and as an opportunity to play a part in tackling larger worldwide issues such as climate change, diversity and sustainability.
Navigating data ethics, including assessing and identifying potential ethical issues associated with data and digital tech, must be part of a multi-function, multi-stakeholder approach, according to the report. With both data and digital responsibility embedded within an organisation’s culture, everyone within a business can consider it part of their role and responsibility.
The framework for adopting a CDR plan within report includes six steps to support leaders with planning and communication:
1. Landscape analysis and audit
2. Comms planning
3. Community of practice
4. Horizon scanning
5. Internal communications
6. Stakeholder engagement underpinned by open and transparent communication
‘Communications professionals often get involved when a crisis arises, but this is too late,’ added Charlotte on the need for the report.
‘They need to take part in early conversations to address potential and existing issues related to data and digital within an organisation in collaboration with C-suite executives. This is a collective action needed to future-proof an organisation, safeguarding its reputation and profits.’
Download the full report Corporate Digital Responsibility: What You Need To Know Right Now.