Companies whose activities are likely to be affected by the impact of Brexit, even to a minor extent, are being advised to prepare a statement particular to their situation which would set out their ‘state-of-readiness’ in terms of the preparations they must make to keep their business functioning smoothly, irrespective of the final form the UK’s EU exit might eventually take.
The proposal has been made by Ashley Hall, director of Dublin-based Hall Public Relations whose founder, Don Hall was a member of the team assembled by then Taoiseach, Jack Lynch TD in the early 1970s whose task it was to win public support in the referendum held to give constitutional approval to Ireland’s decision to join what was the European Economic Community.
Though much detail has yet to be agreed, indications are that some change and disruption to current arrangements must be anticipated. For that reason, it is essential that companies would anticipate the natural concerns of stakeholders and be willing to reveal headline details of the plans they have put in place, mindful that ‘as-you-are’ trading patterns cannot be guaranteed, Hall argues.
Those with a genuine vested interest and a desire for the reassurance a state of readiness statement would give would include employees, their representatives and families; raw materials, component and services suppliers; front line customers, agents and distributors; media outlets; Chambers of Commerce and local community leaders; public representatives and opinion formers generally, Hall said.
In approaching the task, managers should anticipate the range of reasonable questions that such groupings might raise. From that, they should prepare an all-encompassing response – albeit in broad outline form, as necessary – that would address topics and demonstrate management’s readiness to handle whatever opportunities or difficulties may lie ahead, Hall added.
Once ready, the document should be kept updated as circumstances change and held on file pending enquiries, or proactively issued through internal and external communications channels, including its issue to local media, website and other online postings as may be recommended, he said.