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A recent tweet made by a director of Cricket South Africa relating to a cancelled sponsorship highlights an issue for South African boards: the risk represented by social media. Social media has become a key communications channel, but poses particular risks for organisations and especially their directors.
Businesses must release new, exciting digital experiences and products at higher velocities than ever before to remain relevant and continue to increase their share of wallet in this brave new world which we refer to as the post-digital era. This unprecedented pace of innovation has several unintended consequences, which, if not purposefully addressed, can erode trust and alienate customers.
The scale of the national COVID-19 lockdown is unprecedented in living memory. The repercussions – personal, professional, national and international – will reverberate for years to come. As entrepreneurs, we need to be making the right decisions for right now to ensure that our businesses and our people’s livelihoods do not become another casualty of the virus.
Renewed emphasis on digitalisation as a key strategy for sustainability is placing pressure on CIOs to ensure corporate systems are resilient. One certainty that has emerged from the COVID-19 crisis is that organisations embarking on digitalisation were better prepared to respond to the crisis.
On March 12, 2020, a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, alleging that the company was employing misleading sales tactics related to COVID-19 bookings and cancellations. Another D&O claim was lodged soon after against Inovio Pharmaceuticals relating to statements the company made about developing a vaccine for COVID-19.
Bank hackers, email phishing scams and identity theft are synonymous with fraud in the financial sector. According to a statement by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), more than R 800 million were lost over the last couple of years in South Africa due to fraud.
Global demand for greater tax transparency, emanating from corporate scandals such as Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Nike, is leading the boards and audit committees of South African corporations to ask more difficult questions than ever before about how organisations are governing their tax affairs and managing tax risks. The risk of reputational damage and financial loss is simply too high to be ignored.
There are several factors today that can cause serious reputational damage to brands, these range from social media to fake news to cyberattacks. As such companies must have measures in place to minimise the possibility of reputational damage. Brand consistency, which is critical to establishing trust, can provide a layer of brand security for both organisations and their customers.