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CEO Pay Ratio Communications: Assessing Risks & Preparing Your Strategy

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With little to no hope that the CEO pay ratio rule will be repealed or delayed this year, it is urgent that companies plan their communications strategy effectively. Companies must anticipate significant fallout from the disclosures and prepare the right people to react in the most effective manner. It is incumbent on companies to have a response strategy or risk being unprepared for the fallout. Weak responses to pay questions can easily lead to negative press, misinformed employees and frustrated investors.

The likelihood for questions is high and the range of stakeholders is diverse. While the best-case scenario would be very little noise around the subject, that’s not a realistic expectation for two key reasons:

1. Pay equity issues are not going away and CEO pay levels will continue to make for easy headlines. Communications must be prepared for any possible focus on why the CEO, and potentially the other named executives, earn exponentially more than the median employee.
2. New access to published pay data will cause challenges. Proxy statements will have a new, greater level of visibility—drawing a fresh audience to the Compensation Discussion & Analysis (CD&A). This is bound to raise interest from employees about the fairness of their own pay. Human resources and people managers will need to know how to clearly defend your company’s pay practices, policies, and processes.

Attendees will learn:
• How to assess potential messaging risks associated with the CEO pay ratio disclosure based on:
      o Key stakeholder audiences
      o Suspected CEO pay ratio “situations” (e.g., my ratio looks high, my median employee pay looks low)
• What types of communication deliverables – beyond the disclosure – should prepared for internal teams.
• What we’ve heard so far about how companies are planning to approach their disclosure in their proxy statements and how to build their own narratives.
• How CEO pay ratio messages can be leveraged over the longer-term to strengthen ongoing education about compensation.

Sharon Podstupka

Please note: Prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are nonrefundable. Playback and the on-demand recorded session will be available 30 days following the live event, and you can access the session for 90 days. Your 90-day access begins the day of order.

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Non-Member $149

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