Read more about Richard Torrenzano's keynote at IAGA's New York Summit on June 1, 2017 in the Global Games and Gaming Magazine, May 2017 issue.
Newsmax Launches Column by Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis “Corner of Wall St. and Pennsylvania Ave.”
Richard Torrenzano, former chief spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange, and Mark Davis, former White House speechwriter, have launched a new opinion column on Newsmax.com.
Newsmax has rapidly grown to become a top online news site. Their column, posted inside the “Opinion” section, offers unique insights on business, policy and politics.
Their first columns include:
Visit their column at: http://www.newsmax.com/Insiders/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/id-386/
Richard Torrenzano is chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, a strategic communications and high-stakes issues management firm that helps organizations “take control of how they are perceived™.” For almost a decade, he was a member of the New York Stock Exchange’s Management and Executive Committees. He has managed some of the most visible global corporate crises in our lifetime.
Mark Davis, a former White House speechwriter, advised presidents, governors and other political leaders, as well as executives of the nation’s top defense-aerospace, energy, financial, IT and telecommunications companies.
Torrenzano and Davis are co-authors of, Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks, St. Martin’s Press-Macmillan, praised by Groundswell author Charlene Li as “keen and timely advice,” and by Gen. Mike Hayden (Ret.), former head of the NSA and CIA, as a book that “should be in the hands of anyone who has a good name — or a good business — to protect.”
By Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis | September 09, 2016 5:28PM EDT
American companies that do business in or with China may be on the verge of the ultimate “black swan” event, an international crisis that threatens assets, shipping and supply chains, as well as the safety of employees.
Reuters reports that China’s military, finding humiliation in the Hague’s recent ruling that its expansion into the South China Sea violates Filipino sovereignty, is pushing President Xi Jinping to give the United States and its allies “a bloody nose.”
The dispute over the South China Sea has become a risk that must now be addressed by boards and leaders of global enterprises, as well as by generals and admirals. Seventy percent of world trade passes through the South China Sea, about $5 trillion in goods a year in shipborne trade. “Restricting or managing shipping in the South China Sea would be a huge setback to a world still struggling to recover economically,” reports Xeneta, which benchmarks pricing for shipping and logistics.
The financial stakes of an economic, diplomatic or limited military conflict make it essential that any business operating in China or shipping through these sea lanes prepare now to protect their people, capital and investments in the case of conflict.
China and the United States are escalating toward an aggressive military posture. China has installed surface-to-air missiles in the Paracel island chain and is reported to have built hangers for fighter jets in the Spratlys. The United States dispatched a naval strike group into those disputed waters, led by the supercarrier John C. Stennis.
Dogged along the way by Chinese war ships, the Stennis rendezvoused in June with another supercarrier, the Ronald Reagan, in the Philippine Sea for joint exercises. While U.S. officials are quick to characterize these as routine drills, other observers see them as a deliberate show of US force.
It is tempting to downplay the potential for conflict by pointing to the intimacy between the two largest economies. By this line of reasoning, both sides will realize there is simply too much at stake to risk destroying decades of mutual growth over a few tiny atolls. The United States imported $482 billion of goods and services from China in 2015. China controlled $1.2 trillion of American debt last year.
This sanguine view, however, fails to recognize that human leaders are capable of catastrophic mistakes. The argument that economic interdependence rules out war between industrial nations was first and famously put forward in Norman Angell’s 1909 book The Great Illusion. Of course, Angell was proven wrong five years later when the First World War broke out.
It wouldn’t take a shooting war between the two powers to pose a severe challenge for those who do business in China. Both sides state diametrically opposed goals, and ostentatiously display determination to protect those goals with force. “Let us face squarely the paradox,” a chastened Angell wrote years later, “that the world which goes to war is a world, usually, genuinely desiring peace.” Despite a desire for peace from both sides, some confrontation at some level seems inevitable. Even a diplomatic standoff could entail serious consequences for those with assets in China.
While such a clash is not inevitable, it would be irresponsible for any US company with substantial holdings or business in China to be unprepared for a spectrum of scenarios, and to have a strategy at the ready to manage them.
Companies must foresee the wide-ranging effects this dispute might have on brand, asset and equity value, as well as supply chains. At the forefront, of course, is protection of human capital, from the need to move people out of harm’s way, to scenario planning for repatriating employees stranded under belligerent regimes.
While there is time for cooler heads to prevail, now is the time for responsible business leaders to discreetly address these scenarios. Detailed, well thought-out plans and likely effects must be mapped. To some, this may seem like overkill, but the current world instability requires such planning as an urgent priority.
Richard Torrenzano is a former New York Stock Exchange senior officer who organized and was part of the U.S. delegation sent by President Reagan to open exchanges in China. Mark Davis is a former White House speechwriter and has drafted foreign policy and arms control addresses for President George H.W. Bush.
For article on Journal of Commerce, visit: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/industry-must-prepare-worst-south-china-sea_20160908.html
Companies quickly protect brand, when bad behavior by athletics or celebrities erupts publicly on the global stage. Seattle Times interviews Richard Torrenzano on why companies protect affiliations and brand name. He says trust, honesty and Olympic values of sportsmanship and fairness are what corporate sponsors seek. And nowadays, they’re quicker to drop athletes betraying those ideals.
Read the full article here: http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/olympics/hope-solo-or-ryan-lochte-whose-earning-potential-was-damaged-more-during-olympics/
On Sunday, more than 100 media outlets reported the first sensational news from the Panama Papers – a huge array of documents exposing global tax evasion by heads of state and high-net worth individuals around the world.
As reporters, analysts, and tax authorities sift through this leak, there will undoubtedly be a steady drumbeat of startling headlines with the potential to more than rattle governments, billionaires, boards, and global executives.
When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971, he had to photocopy 7,000 pages of top secret Vietnam War Documents. Technology has made what was once laborious now easy. WikiLeaks released 1.8 GB collection of classified State Department documents, nearly 100 times bigger than the Pentagon Papers leak.
Now, the Panama leaker has released 2 terabytes (one million/million) - or almost 12 million documents - and all he likely had to do was to insert a drive and click.
Many honest companies and high-profile individuals will undoubtedly be tarred by association in the Panama Papers case. More to the point, hackers and insiders can now Hoover-up every potential bit of data from a corporation or high-profile person in order to zero in on something that looks off or is embarrassing.
We are now in the "Era of Mega Leaks," one that puts names and brands at greater risks than ever before.
What I've learned from years of managing crisis, brands and reputation is that the old PR “hunker down” playbook doesn’t cut it anymore.
A company – or a high-profile individual – must assess vulnerability, to know as much about oneself as a potential attacker. Only with such an audit – accompanied with modern digital strategies and action maps -- can they be proactively prepared, and be ready to aggressively pre-empt or contextualize stolen information.
That’s what we do for clients. This is what business, government leaders and brands need to be thinking about today.
Read the original story from Richard Torrenzano on his LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/panama-papers-age-mega-leak-richard-torrenzano?trk=prof-post
The higher the cost, the higher the...risk. And that may outweigh the reward, Richard Torrenzano, said in his conversation with the Seattle Times before yesterday's game.
“How many of these ads do you remember?’’ Torrenzano said. “Do you remember even three from last year, except for perhaps Budweiser? Most people can’t remember most of them and that’s the issue. You may get a lot of eyeballs, but this is a one-time event.’’
Besides ad time, there’s costs creating the commercial and coordinating staff and social media to market it, inviting clients to the game and staff to accompany them. By the time the commercial runs, that 30-second ad might cost $20 million. And that’s outrageous.
“You can probably get a lot more bang for your buck,’’ he said. “They can be spending it on social media, on more focused advertising on the Internet. All sorts of things.
Click here to keep reading: Higher costs alter the strategy for Super Bowl ads
Shares of Volkswagen have plunged nearly 30% since the news of the automaker's Clean Air Act violations first surfaced last Friday. The stock is now more than 50% below the 52-week high that it hit in March...
"This is a mess. The CEO's resignation makes it more of a mess because it's a rudderless ship," said Richard Torrenzano, CEO of the Torrenzano Group, a firm specializing in crisis management for corporations.
It's important to remember that Volkswagen was already in trouble before the term "defeat device" started trending on Google and social media...
"How can VW polish themselves off and move on? It's not a simple matter," Torrenzano said. "They need a strategy to move through this carefully. It's a matter of credibility. Cheating is a terrible sin."
Click here to continue reading: Volkswagen has plunged 50%. Will it ever recover?
While an unidentified hacker didn’t steal any data or valuable information in the Rutgers University breach last spring, the University is shelling out to keep it from happening again.
“It’s about time that Rutgers and other universities start to address this issue. To a great extent, most organizations haven’t put in the infrastructure they need...in before the event, before something happens, and now they’re doing it as the when the barn door has opened and all the horses have left.
It is important they do it for future problems, which they will have, there’s no question about it. We live in a 24/7 world today and they, as well as everyone else, will have other issues in the cyber arena,” said Richard Torrenzano.
How Far is Too Far on Twitter? Torrenzano advises companies -- and sports teams -- to be clear on their values -- and predetermine what you can and should not say -- to avoid problematic social media missteps - Seattle Times
Both the Sounders and rival Portland Timbers last week took a Twitter beef beyond the usual “crap” often posted.
And they demonstrated that the lines between “edgy” and “poor taste” remain blurred when it comes to social media. Employees running team accounts often walk a tightrope between an anything-goes Twitter mindset and the corporate attitudes of older bosses growing ever more aware of how online branding represents their team...
...Richard Torrenzano, author of the best-selling book “Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand or Business Against Online Attacks” says older team executives often lack familiarity with Twitter and don’t adequately instruct employees about upholding company values.
He referenced a line in his book that states: “Age needs to appreciate technology with greater skill, while youth needs to appreciate technology with greater wisdom.’’
Torrenzano says business values haven’t changed. But anyone can now instantly see values “mistakes” on Twitter with no way to erase it.
“People tend to write things out on their computer blogs or iPhones and not think,’’ he said. “They don’t think about the dimensions of what they’re saying or the repercussions.
“And people are going to make mistakes,’’ Torrenzano added. “Where possible, they should be reprimanded. But at the same time, you can’t just fire people and not give them parameters and training, especially if they’re social media directors. They need to know what they can say and can’t say. Where they can go and can’t go.’’
Continue reading: Funny or gross? Sounders, Timbers rivalry spills over onto Twitter
Following the death of Cecil the Lion, Richard Torrenzano is invited to Fox 5's Good Day NY to discuss the dangerous impact of social media shaming on businesses, reputations and lives.
Vulnerable computer systems, hacking fears are here to stay, experts say
Computer glitches that brought America’s largest airline, its oldest stock exchange and its leading business newspaper to a halt for hours on Wednesday may signal a new era of vulnerability for the increasingly complex computer systems that power the nation’s economy, technology experts said Wednesday.
The breakdowns may be part of a larger trend, in which corporate America’s aging computer systems struggle to keep up with more, faster and ever-more-complex streams of data.
...Changes at the New York Stock Exchange have been more radical. On Nov. 5, 1980, at the dawn of the computer age, the exchange handled 84.3 million shares, according to a New York Times story that year. That daily total hit 601 million in 2010, according to the U.S. census.
“The platforms were put in place 10 to 15 years ago. They are complex, and they have many layers,” said Torrenzano, now CEO of The Torrenzano Group, a public relations firm that specializes in crisis response. “That doesn’t mean they’re bad. But do they have the best safeguards for today’s world? I would venture to guess the answer is no.”
Continue reading: Vulnerable computer systems, hacking fears are here to stay, experts say
"When there is a vacuum of information, people speculate … and that speculation is usually worse than what actually happened": said RT on the National Edition of the Cats RoundTable with John Catsimatidis, 970 Radio NY.
John's interview with Richard Torrenzano.
New York Post columnist interviews Torrenzano on Mickelson Investigation, Reputation and Sponsorship Issues
Phil Mickelson’s money matches not loved by every Tour player
Phil Mickelson loves to needle his friends and fellow golfers — often through bets on the golf course, where he loves the casual practice-round action almost as much as he likes trying to win tournaments.
Now, in the wake of Monday’s ESPN report — which quoted sources saying nearly $3 million in laundered money was tied to alleged gambling money belonging to Mickelson — his penchant for gambling has put Mickelson’s name and reputation under a different light....
“For a guy with such a sensational record over many years, he needs to get as much information out as quickly as possible to protect his reputation and image,’’ Torrenzano said. “He’s a very aggressive player on the golf course, and he should be very aggressive in clarifying his position and making sure he doesn’t put a black spot on his stellar record.
“He’s got to clarify, and get as much information out as possible as quickly as possible. To sit silent at this point is not a good thing.’’
Continue reading Phil Mickelson's match not loved by every Tour player
Instantaneous Internet Requires New Thinking About Time
Reputation Is The New Corporate Capital
NEW YORK, Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — “Throw away whatever crisis plans you may have. They won’t work in today’s digital world,” says noted crisis expert.
Speaking in London before a private group of European board directors and C-suite executives, crisis expert Richard Torrenzanowarned, “Recorders and video cameras in every smartphone. Social media’s voracious appetite for sensation. A pervasive desire for 15 minutes of fame. These elements are fusing at an alarming rate and reaching critical mass, threatening every corporation, institution or organization with their 15 minutes of instantaneous, global shame.
“Crisis response plans completed as recent as 12 months ago should be dragged into the trash icon,” Torrenzano said. “In the digital world, a year ago might as well be a decade. To prevail during a crisis today, new thinking, new skills and new plans are needed that recognize the depth and breadth, speed and magnitude of today’s online world.
“Mobile is now the prince with older users and it is the king among millennials,” he said. “Soon half of the global population will be made up of mobile users, and that percentage is growing rapidly. So every corporate crisis plan must be reconceived for small screens, terse messaging, micro-video and consumers who are adept at meshing screens. In the US today, there are 80 million Millennials and this has just become the largest group in the workforce.
Richard Torrenzano is chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, a reputation and high-stakes issues management firm specializing in building and protecting reputations, helping clients grow their business and enhancing brand and shareholder value. The Torrenzano Group helps organizations take control of how they are perceived™.
The Torrenzano Group managed an array of crisis situations, including: The largest U.S. corporate punitive damage award, the highest profile university sexual abuse case, employee sabotage that threatened the very existence of a company, environmental contamination, and the complex $4 billion recapitalization of Long-Term Capital Management by a consortium of 14 of the world’s largest financial institutions.
According to Torrenzano, “despite the ever-growing awareness of how crises and disasters instantaneously affect companies, table-top exercises and dress rehearsals are still not given much attention by management.
“While social media evolves on fast forward — cultural, political and security environments are producing more uncertainty than any time since the 1960s,” he said.
“With terrorism on our shores, new levels of activism on our streets and in boardrooms, Ebola and other diseases emerging, threats to our food and water supply and geographic political instability, as well as technology breaches compounded by privacy issues — all pose new threats to employee health and well-being. So corporate crisis plans need a significant fresh look at ‘what ifs’ really are. In the face of a Black Swan event, what worked well last year likely has significant deficiencies today.
“Plans must now define what constitutes crises for particular organizations — by industry, by geography, by history, and by what has just happened to your neighbor,” Torrenzano said. “Today our media world is far broader and now includes sponsored attacks that damage reputation and brand or otherwise diminish leadership credibility, sales or shareholder value. It should continue to include preparation for — surprise regulatory or government actions, product failures and recalls, lawsuits, major business loss, sabotage or terrorism.
"In addition, activists and assassins today are sophisticated, business-like and armed with resources and knowledge,” he said. “They can assimilate embarrassing information and video quickly, disseminate it instantly and adjust campaigns rapidly to counter corporate defenses that are too refined and slow moving for the real world.
New “Eight-Hour Digital Day”
“The instantaneous nature of the Internet forces us to think differently about time … much differently than we did just a few years ago, in the age of traditional media,” Torrenzano said.
“We must view eight hours as 'One Digital Day' — a central truth that many business leaders have yet to recognize. In the new world of the ‘eight-hour digital day,’ when assassins mount an assault — something that must be acknowledged or answered — you have four to eight hours for an initial response as their post goes viral, especially in the context of today’s multi-screen, mobile environment.
“It isn’t always wise to respond, but if you had to, could you, quickly and effectively, within an ‘eight-hour digital day?’ ” Torrenzano said.
“Most corporate leaders and cultures, and importantly most advisors, are simply not built to operate at this speed. And many companies will be burned — perhaps several times — before they understand the new timing of an ‘eight-hour digital day.’
Reputation is the New Corporate Capital
“Reputation is the new corporate capital. Management needs new skills to raise it, leverage it and protect it,” he said. “Today, CEOs spend 20 to 30 percent of their time dealing with public issues. This will evolve and increase to include other C-suite and board leader assassins and activists’ attacks on capitalism.
“Therefore, companies that communicate regularly develop a positive reputation with constituents and build credibility and trust. Reaching out to key constituents — on a high frequency basis — is a pre-requisite to any good crisis plan.
“Unfortunately, most do not think about that when building a plan; they tend to only focus on isolated incidents, and that is a formula for significant problems,” Torrenzano said.
He concluded and provided the business leaders with his ‘Top Ten List’ to strategically manage the new corporate crisis.
Contact: Jenna Focarino
All the hysteria about DeflateGate and apocalyptic blizzards hitting the East Coast has diverted much of the attention traditionally devoted to Super Bowl ads, but that doesn’t mean we're not in for a plethora of shorts from bombastic advertisers determined to stimulate our brains to the point that we’ll go out and buy their products...
...Given that a 30 second ad buy during the game costs $4.5 million, it’s perhaps time to start asking the question of whether these advertisers are getting much bang for their buck by shelling out this type of cash for such brief exposure. The Torrenzano Group estimates that the total cost of such an ad, including production, talent acquisition and promotions, can often top $10 million.
Continue reading: The new status symbol: Super Bowl advertisement
What’s another Super Bowl worth for Seahawks?
...Richard Torrenzano, CEO of the New York-based Torrenzano Group, a strategic communications and high-stakes issues-management firm, adds Marshawn Lynch to those Seahawks who might limit the team’s appeal nationally.
Torrenzano called Lynch’s media-day antics this week “childish” and “rude” and “embarrassing” for himself and the team.
“He’s acting like a spoiled brat,’’ Torrenzano said. “It hurts the team’s appeal. It hurts the league’s appeal. People are turned off by that. Our children have to see that behavior, and that’s unnecessary.’’
In the end, however, he believes Lynch probably hurts himself more than anyone.
“People want to deal with people they like and they trust,’’ he said. “And if you’re not going to be liked and you’re going to be obnoxious and you’re going to be difficult, I don’t care how good an athlete you are, that’s going to hurt you.’’
That said, Torrenzano sees the Seahawks making gains if they capture a second Super Bowl. For one, he said, the franchise’s value would go up.
“That’s good for the owners and for the pride of the local fans,’’ he said.
Forbes calculated in August that the Seahawks’ value soared 23 percent to $1.33 billion after their first Super Bowl season. The team has since increased average ticket prices by $12 this season from an average of $99 to $111 per seat and introduced variable pricing for the first time.
And fans have paid that asking price, again selling out every game at CenturyLink Field. Torrenzano agreed most of the team’s future gains are likely to be more regional as the Hawks expand their brand in Seattle and outlying areas.
Continue reading What’s another Super Bowl worth for Seahawks?
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the Sony hack, Richard Torrenzano answers the question 'What should businesses do in the face of intimidation?’
Safety of Uber Questioned in Lawsuit Filed
On Tuesday, December 9th, district attorneys from San Francisco and Los Angeles filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Uber, a popular ridesharing company based in San Francisco and operating in over 250 cities in 50 countries. The complaint alleges that Uber misleads consumers about their safety, overcharges them and completely disregards California law…
Richard Torrenzano, chief executive of the Torrenzano Group, a reputation and high stakes issues management firm stated "there will be an enormous backlash by governments and a push by Uber's competitors in cities around the world who are more established and have been required to meet various government regulations."
Continue reading: ‘Safety of Uber Questioned in Lawsuit Filed’ on JURIST
San Francisco and L.A. sue Uber, claim misleading and illegal actions
Uber faces a civil suit from San Francisco and Los Angeles district attorneys amid a wave of resistance.
San Francisco car-sharing service Uber was hit with a civil suit by its hometown district attorney Tuesday, just as a wave of criticism and legal action against the company spread worldwide.
"There will be an enormous backlash by governments and a push by Uber's competitors in cities around the world who are more established and have been required to meet various government regulations," Richard Torrenzano, CEO of the Torrenzano Group, said. "I think regulators and competitors are going to push back very hard now that they smell blood in the water."
Continue reading: “San Francisco and L.A. sue Uber, claim misleading and illegal actions”
"Saito's call for a quiet period is a thoughtful approach," said Richard Torrenzano, chief executive officer of the Torrenzano Group, who was spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange during the 1987 crash. "We've seen stock markets in panic modes before. You have the economy, the companies, the investors who need to assess the market. There are a lot of very big things at stake here."
"They may very well have to close the Tokyo Stock Exchange for a period of time or alter it in some way," Torrenzano said in a telephone interview. "They may shorten the hours, do something to address the impending disaster of the nuclear reactor. Everyone around the world will try to be understanding and thoughtful about that."
Click Here for Full Article
New York-based crisis expert Richard Torrenzano acknowledged that the public’s reaction to the NFL’s crisis is far from the norm.
Just ask the makers of Tylenol after its poisoning scare or the builders of GM cars during its recall-o-rama. They both have taken hits from unwanted controversies.
“We as Americans believe that, on a playing field, teams play fair. And it’s a separate belief that, in our homes, nobody beats up on anyone.”
Continue reading on nypost.com