A pension and benefits organization needed to identify and address risks to its greatest asset – its reputation.


Reputation Risk Audit


A pension and benefits organization in a very competitive niche market, recognizing a changing and volatile environment, sought help in determining its reputational vulnerabilities to prepare the organization for a potential crisis.

Standing Partnership led the organization through six stages of an unfolding and unfamiliar scenario to reveal vulnerabilities in planning and readiness.


Standing Partnership conducted a comprehensive reputation risk audit to identify vulnerabilities and to assess the likelihood of certain adverse events taking place. The audit included a series of leadership and board interviews, coupled with a detailed analysis of internal research on stakeholder attitudes and an external environmental scan of the industry.

The research revealed that the client could be at risk if stakeholder perceptions about the organization changed on key issues related to the organization’s mission such as ethical behavior, and that shifts in perception on these core values could impact the organization’s ability to serve its market.

In a complex market, the organization needed to plan how it would respond in a crisis situation characterized by a need for sensitivity as well as a level of ambiguity. This signaled to us a need for comprehensive scenario planning to address situations with the potential to escalate.

We began by developing a six-step unfolding scenario to help the leadership team consider how it should respond at each stage. We then developed a strategy to address future situations in a way that would satisfy multiple parties without causing reputational harm. The strategy covered multiple scenarios for engaging with internal and external stakeholders, as well as the media.

Today, the organization has the foundation to navigate a potentially damaging situation while protecting its reputation. We engaged the leadership team in embedding reputational risk and crisis planning into its business operations. The client integrated these recommendations into its organizational planning, improving its ability to build trust and loyalty with its stakeholders.


Identified more than 20 potential reputational risks that had a relatively high severity of impact


Created six steps of an unfolding scenario to discuss readiness