Mission North today announced the launch of its Corporate Reputation Practice, a new unit dedicated to preparing high-growth science and technology companies for the changing reputational forces shaping their future. Mission North Senior Vice President Rachael Cassidy will lead the studio alongside Co-CEO Bill Bourdon and Senior Vice President Melissa Musiker.
2020 was a tipping point for technology companies that will forever change how they operate, communicate with their stakeholders, and respond to external events. Employees now wield more influence over business decisions than any other constituency. A polarizing political climate and social unrest following the murder of George Floyd have left many corporate leaders uncertain about if, when and how to take action around social and political issues. In addition, the slow but steady shift toward stakeholder capitalism is setting a new structural norm for how companies balance profits with purpose. All of these forces, combined with the meteoric rise of Big Tech and subsequent techlash, have created a new standard of corporate accountability that companies at every stage of growth must proactively manage.
“We’re codifying what Mission North has been doing for our clients for almost 20 years — helping them build brand trust and resiliency at every stage of growth,” said Bourdon. “The difference in 2021 is that we’ve entered a new era of accountability, and it’s no longer viable for companies to actively manage their reputation after they go public or experience a major crisis. Embracing a proactive and preemptive mindset around brand reputation early on doesn’t only condition the right communications with different stakeholders, it fundamentally shapes more resilient corporate behavior.”
Mission North’s Corporate Reputation Practice offers strategic advisory and communications services across corporate social impact programs, crisis and complex issues management, cyber incident preparedness and response, IPO and M&A transactions, and DE&I for companies at every stage of growth. The firm’s multidisciplinary team of integrated communications specialists spans corporate positioning and storytelling, media and influencer relations, content and digital strategy.
“Bad things happen to good companies. The best way for a company to help inoculate itself against a crisis and to build a corporate reputation that is truly resilient over time is to develop a strategy now,” said Jason Alderman, Chief Communications Officer, at Fast. “Mission North really understands this, and their new practice will be a great resource for Fast as we plan for our future.”
The practice will primarily serve:
- growth stage companies that are transitioning into market leaders or positioning themselves for IPO or acquisition;
- established brands looking to secure their market positions and maintain trust with stakeholders; and
- startups in high reputational risk industries such as life sciences, finance, transportation and data services.
Mission North’s Corporate Reputation Practice lead, Rachael Cassidy, has been with the agency for five years during which time she spearheaded the evolution of its Future of Work and Media Practices, guiding communications and content strategy for high-growth brands like Atlassian, Expensify and Gusto. Rachael has also advised on communications and media strategy for some of software’s most successful IPOs.
Rachael leads a team of other veteran corporate communications strategists, including Mission North’s Senior Vice President and Life Sciences Practice Lead Melissa Musiker. Melissa recently joined the company from the McDonald’s Corporation, where she led International Public Affairs. She brings extensive experience in crisis and issues management to Mission North’s clients as they navigate the changing stakeholder dynamics impacting their reputations.