Paper Pushers

Emily Holbrook


December 1, 2011

Society has slowly moved away from its reliance on the U.S. post office. Since the advent of the internet and email, fewer individuals and businesses are mailing letters and documents. There is a certain segment, however, that relies on mail service for sending important, and sometimes classified, documents: corporate boards.

According to a study by corporate information provider Thomson Reuters, boards have still largely not embraced technology and continue to rely on traditional methods to communicate with their members. Specifically, the report states that the average corporation surveyed prepares and disseminates close to 6,000 pages of sensitive material to its board every year, with some companies producing more than 200 board packs per year.

"Many boards still operate in the traditional sense by providing hard copies of documents to their members via post," said Kevin Ritchey, senior vice president, of Thomson Reuters' governance, transactions and legal risk division. "Embracing technology and using it to your advantage can alleviate numerous risks, improve communication and efficiencies, and maintain a secure, centralized archive of records." But with the increasing number of data breaches making headlines, it can be said that there is truly no safe way to pass along sensitive information.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.