Inside Monsanto’s Stakeholder Management Strategy

Monsanto… It seems almost impossible to mention the company without entering in a heated discussion about GMO’s.

And for a very long time the management and employees of this 16 billion $ in revenue corporation didn’t get it. What was the fuss all about ? Science would and will always speak for itself they thought…

But it doesn’t – not anymore. The public’s trust in companies has declined and health and food related information and news has gained in importance.

Together with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Professor in Food Distribution and Policy at the Food Institute of the University of Guelph, Canada – I discuss the stakeholder management research he did for Monsanto.

We dive into the belly of the “beast” and take a look at Monsanto’s public engagement awakening.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois’ research adopts an internal view of Monsanto’s challenge of engaging with consumers and the broader public when discussing biotechnologies and specifically, genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Multiple interviews were conducted at Monsanto’s world headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, to understand the challenges within the organisation in terms of their public persona and why and how they want to change it.


About my guest:

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is Professor for the University of Guelph’s Food Institute. He is an award winning researcher and teacher. 

His current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety, and has published four books and many peer-reviewed journal articles in several publications.

His research has been featured in a number of newspapers, including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, MacLean’s, and La Presse, as well as on the Business News Network, CBC Radio and TV, Global, CTV, TVO and TVA.

Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa. He has testified on several occasions before parliamentary committees on food policy-related issues as an expert witness.


If you have feedback, questions, remarks or anything else, please let me know via the audio mailbox of Wag The Dog FM.


Links for this podcast:

#FuturePRoof – A Guide for Managers of Communication Teams

#Dieselgate – The Volkswagen Crisis PR Case Study