From Responsibility to Advocacy: Finding the Right CSR Balance for Your Company

In the past eighteen months we’ve seen more and more companies taking stands on social issues: be it proactively making statements on hot-button issues around gender, gun control and equality; responding to consumer pressure to take products off the shelves; or using its advertising might to advocate for social change. Companies are quickly being forced to come to terms with the fact that today’s employees and consumers are demanding that their favorite brands stand for something more than their bottom line.

But not every company is ready to take a stance. There is a spectrum of where companies operate in this increasingly complex landscape of corporate social responsibility.

We see the spectrum as follows…

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The Environment Is Under Threat, but Not in the Way You Think

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. passed legislation to ensure the air we breathe and water we drink is clean, and that endangered animals and federal lands are protected. For 20 years, enforcement of these laws ranged from full swing or lapsed, depending on the political winds. And then something remarkable occurred: the American people took over and started a movement, spurring action to protect the environment.

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For Airlines, Real-Time Crisis Communications Becomes Even More Real

Ever since Virgin America became the first airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi in 2008, it didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that the day would come when an aviation emergency would be broadcast live in real-time by a passenger using this new online connectivity option. After all, from terrorist attacks to natural disasters, few major events now are complete without graphic images on social media, showing the experiences of people at the scene as they happen.

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Sexual Harassment: How Companies Can Live Values of Zero Tolerance

The adage “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” should never apply to sexual harassment situations.

There are far too many cases making headlines about how people knew, or had heard rumors, or most shockingly, ignored the truth about sexual harassment in the workplace. We have seen it in academics, sports, media, big business and politics. Sadly, egos and fear win the day too often and time after time, the company’s communications counselors get ignored. CEOs, University Presidents, Directors of Boards, Team Owners and other leaders must openly engage their communications counselor – not as an afterthought, not once the story goes public, and not to “spin” the truth.

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TAG, Georgia’s “IT” for Innovation in the Tech Industry

I recently had the pleasure of representing Ketchum at the 2018 Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Summit. With over 1,400 attendees, it is one of the largest tech showcases in the Southeast. So large, in fact, that the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, kicked off day two by noting tech growth in the region has increased 14.68 percent over the past five years – three times the national average!

The growth is no accident. With a highly skilled labor market, low cost of living, diverse range of industries and top notch higher-ed institutions, it is no wonder why software and IT companies are flocking to Georgia as their new home base.

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I’m in a Wellness State of Mind

I just got back from Spring Break. No, I’m not a college student. Just a mom and brand marketer who took some vacation days during her tween daughter’s week off. Ambushing my daughter’s Spring Break is now an annual tradition where we can count on some quality “Mom & Me” time and I can get some quality sleep. That’s because I’m in a wellness state of mind. And so are the 93 percent of Americans – according to Ketchum’s new Influence of Wellness study – who report they have at least one wellness goal.

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Today’s Leadership Demands: A Conversation with the PRSA

I recently had the pleasure of sharing my perspectives on leadership with Ken Jacobs at the PRSA for a column in its Tactics magazine. Topics ranged from my observations in Davos while at the World Economic Forum, to what it’s like to be the first woman to lead a top-five global communications agency. Above all else, it was a candid conversation about what it means to be a leader, my leadership successes and teachable moments, and how others have inspired my thinking throughout my career journey. Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation…

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Why It’s Time to Check Your Visual Reputation!

The mention of any category of business can conjure a brand or image in the modern mind – airline, charity, shoemaker, software developer, hospital, beverage company, car manufacturer, fast food franchise. When considering the brands that come to mind, you likely imagine the brand’s logo or one of their products or services. And, more than likely, if that brand has been embroiled in any controversy, you can recall a video snippet, meme or photo, that is forever etched in your mind, and can be handily recalled on your cell phone.

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Data as a Tool to Fuel the Creative Process

Working within one of the largest global networks of research professionals in the communications industry opens your eyes to a few things.

You realize the sheer volume of data that is out there at your disposal to help improve research and communications decisions, and how little you know about something without the added dimension of measurement. At the same time, you realize that, at times, data can be perceived as a roadblock in the creative process.

Here are three ways our industry can embrace data as a creative tool and change that perception…

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He’s Back! What Marketers Can Learn from Tiger Woods

We all seek greatness, whether it’s from the products we use, the people we surround ourselves with, the brands we like or even in ourselves. It’s the story of our times. It’s also the story of great sport. As all eyes turn toward the first of this year’s golf majors, The Masters, suddenly there is even more anticipation and expectation. Why? Because Tiger Woods is back, once again commanding headlines, fascination and even the odds. Without a PGA TOUR win since 2013, Woods’ play during his comeback this year has made him the odds-makers’ favorite at 8-1 for a victory in Augusta.

So, why do people care so much about Tiger Woods? It’s simple, we still care because we miss the greatness. Woods erupted onto the scene with one of the most meteoric rises ever, and then fell apart in an equally stunning and most public collapse. He drew mores eyes to him, and to the world of golf, than any other golfer ever. He was compelling, a unique combination of skill and aloofness, yet with a magnetism that appealed to every  American. TV ratings, crowds and prize money all increased significantly. People had to watch. And just as equally, people had to watch his fall from grace.

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