About Monica Marshall

Monica leads Ketchum’s Purpose Practice, which offers services that include developing and executing sustainability and social impact programs that are fully integrated with marketing and communications campaigns to build brands, strengthen reputation and increase awareness and stakeholder engagement.

Author Archive | Monica Marshall

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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The Year of Purpose: Stepping Up and Out


In December 2016 I wrote an opinion piece called “Will the Private Sector Pass the Test?” which hypothesized that despite – or perhaps due to – the fact that the newly elected U.S. leadership planned to reduce regulation and deprioritize its responsibility to the environment and society, the private sector would increase their advocacy and investment in Purpose (CSR, social and environmental issues). 

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Disaster Relief and Holiday Giving: 5 Ways to Optimize Corporate and NGO Support

This has been a bad year for natural disasters. In fact, 2017 is tied with 2011 for the most billion-dollar disasters. [1] Without even counting Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, or the California fires, the U.S. has sustained 218-plus weather and climate disasters since 1980, totaling more than $1.2 trillion in recovery costs. When coupled with horrific events like what took place recently in Las Vegas, New York, Texas, and other cities, we should all be thankful for the many first responders, non-profit organizations, companies, and individuals who mobilized instantly – volunteering time and donating money – to help millions of people and communities respond, rebuild and restore livelihoods.

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CSR: Will The Private Sector Pass the Test?

Despite the urban/rural divide that political winds have carried with recent events in Great Britain, the United States and other countries, and potential changes to current environmental and social-economic structures, companies have a choice to make: Will they increase their advocacy and investment in Purpose (CSR, social and environmental issues), or will they take advantage of reduced regulation and pressure and deprioritize their responsibilities to the environment and society?

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The Billion-Dollar Purpose Club

Freya Williams, author of Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses, recently gave an inspiring speech where she discussed the first nine (or ten) companies that had successfully been built into billion-dollar brands by focusing on purpose. As I was listening, the person sitting next to me asked why so many other companies – including the $6B company he represented – were not considered one of Freya’s “Green Giants.”

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How Can We Keep the Private Sector Engaged After COP21?

Hot off the heels of the U.N Sustainable Development Goals launch last fall and COP21 in Paris, there is a lot of momentum around identifying solutions to protect the future of our world and the generations of people who will live in it. We are seeing more and more companies raising their hands wanting to understand how they can contribute in ways that work for their stakeholders and are genuine to their brand. But, as Bill Gates recently said while at COP21, “We need to move faster.”

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Sustainability & The Private Sector: A New Framework for Brands

Last week, the United Nations codified the Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs), building on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that launched in 2000 as a way to provide developing countries a framework to address social and environmental challenges around poverty, hunger, education, water and other fundamental human needs. The SDGs set a more holistic framework for addressing societal needs in clear and measurable ways, and include developed countries in addition to developing. And there is an opportunity for the private enterprise to help meet these goals.

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The Corporate Anniversary: A License to be Bold

Most of us get to enjoy the basic essentials in life – food, water and shelter. It’s only by accident of birth that we are not among the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty, or the 2.5 billion people without access to proper sanitation, or one of the 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night.

This post is about how we all have moments in time where we have implicit approval to be bold. Recently, I had the great fortune to represent Ketchum at the Corporate Anniversary Forum where I was able to showcase some great examples of companies that used their anniversary celebrations as a catalyst to ‘be bold’ – to put a stake in the ground and become a more socially responsible and sustainable corporate citizen.

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Two Essential Needs

World Water Day

Water and food are two of the most essential basic needs in life – so important that this week we celebrate World Water Day and next week National Agriculture Day. Yet one in three people still lack access to clean water and nearly a billion people go to bed hungry every night.

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Managing Communications:The Gap between CEO Pay and Median Employee Compensation

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act[1] includes a provision that requires companies to disclose the ratio between CEO and employee pay. This provision will be implemented upon the issuance of a Rule which is expected to be finalized shortly.  The Rule requires companies to disclose the:

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