For companies with multiple product lines, retail outlets, and business partners, knowing your network is vital. Facing a network of opposition, a major chemical manufacturer needed to identify and monitor the actors related to their issue set.
To understand and anticipate actions from within this network, we built a monitoring platform that serves as an “early warning system” for events, actions, and tactics that may be used against the interests of the manufacturer and other stakeholders. The anticipatory model was built using thorough background research we conducted on the frontline and behind-the-scenes activists and organizations, scientists, foundations, lobbyists/lawyers, and public relations consultants that make up this network of opposition.
The research started with a list of 21 groups to be examined which led us to an additional 15 groups that were assessed in a second wave of reports. This information was then used to produce an overview report providing the taxonomy of the network, its scope of influence, interactions between and among the various groups, and the inferred strategy and observed tactics utilized by the activists and organizations within. With the network mapped out, we created a monitoring platform to watch the network in action and report on its efforts and activities on a weekly basis.
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Through our ongoing monitoring, we were able to identify items of an urgent nature, such as when hackers used the March Against Monsanto to breach several chemical companies’ email servers, and send out timely alerts. We enabled this chemical manufacturer to be proactive rather than simply reactive to the actions of their opponents.