Three Memorable Takeaways from the 2023 Brand Reputation Summit

By Akeem Anderson, SVP and Head of Digital 

The PRNews 2023 Brand Reputation Summit held recently in New York City gathered some of the industry’s smartest communications professionals to discuss emerging trends and best practices across crisis, reputation and brand management.   

I had the opportunity to join other industry experts on a panel titled “Stay Ahead of the Crisis Curve,” featuring insights on how social media monitoring can help organizations measure, prepare for and address crisis situations.  

Amidst all the key learnings, ideas and thoughts exchanged during the summit, there were a few consistent themes that pointed to how those managing communications are preparing to better satisfy the ever-changing stakeholder needs in crisis and critical situations.  

  • Organizations need to define who owns reputation management.
    During the session titled “Developing a Comprehensive Reputation Management Strategy for the Digital Age,” United Nations Senior Communications Director Suanne Tannis explored how critical it is for organizations to define which internal stakeholders would own and manage the business’ reputation. The key takeaway: reputation management should be a collaborative effort among communications, legal, internal subject matter experts and others with a vested interest in the company’s success.  
  • Creating brand advocates in and outside the company can help protect its reputation.
    Comcast SVP of Communications Sophia Marshall shared her thoughts on how internal stakeholders are powerful reputation drivers in her session about “Internal Communication During a Crisis.” Similar thoughts were echoed by Integral CEO Ethan McCarty during his session titled “Activate Your Employees as Brand Advocates.” Both experts highlighted the importance of developing trust and goodwill among those internal partners who are most likely to become external brand advocates. 
  • Data is an essential element to assess, understand and evolve reputation.
    Speakers at this year’s Brand Reputation Summit unanimously agreed that data related to reputation building is an essential element in managing stakeholder expectations, managing crisis response and building public trust. 
    I highlighted this point alongside my fellow panelists – Save the Children’s Managing Director of Social Media Engagement Stephanie Fisher and Jeff Lutz, VP of Corporate Communications and Content for Hart Inc. We shared thoughts on how proper social media listening can help organizations use social data to see around corners and predict how a crisis will impact an organization.  

In all, the event was the perfect showcase of what’s to come in the realm of reputation building and management. I’m excited for next year’s event. I look forward to joining again next year as we explore how this year’s key learnings play a role in new crisis and issues work.  

Many thanks to @PRNews and our sponsor @DigiMind for inviting us to participate. For a full event recap, visit