21 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2010
Inherent risks or negatives are a critical element of "enterprise risk management" that must be mitigated or dramatically managed through constructive actions to sustain growth and manage reputation. Set in 2003 as Aetna prepares to settle a landmark class-action lawsuit, this case explores how communications and PR executives work with management to devise an announcement that fully engages the company’s key stakeholders in this dramatic break with its industry’s position. This case is well suited to courses and modules on crisis management, risk management, corporate communication, and strategic communication. Though written for a business school audience, it would be equally useful for courses in communication or public relations programs. The case asks students to choose from a number of possible communication strategies. It also asks students to relate communication strategy to the company’s changing business model, which is demonstrated in detail in the case. The authors interviewed not only the top communication managers at Aetna, but also the CEO, CMO, and corporate counsel and some prominent legal experts. It is ever more relevant as the world of crisis issues management, crisis management, and corporate litigation becomes ever more difficult to navigate.
Keywords: crisis communication, public relations/publicity, strategy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Rubin, James, Aetna Inc.: Managing Inherent Enterprise Risks Through Stakeholder Management (a). Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0218. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1585593