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Outspoken CEOs and Tweeting in the Time of Trump

Best Practices for Engaging Employees in Cybersecurity

Holly Anderson

September 26, 2017

When companies take a check-the-box approach to educating and engaging their employees in their cybersecurity efforts, they make a critical mistep. More than half of all breaches can be linked to insiders. These mistakes can be costly to an organization’s...

5 Steps to Protect Brands From Employees’ Controversial Politics

Pia Singh

September 12, 2017

U.S. business leaders are facing “new kinds of pressure from within—from employees who expect their company to stake out positions on numerous controversial social or economic causes, and from board members concerned with reputational issues,” a NY Times article says....

Authenticity in an uncertain world

John Saunders

August 14, 2017

A great story, beautifully crafted and well told, will engage and enrich even the toughest audience. But get it wrong and you will feel a surge of disappointment that will cost you dearly. The newly released 2017 Authenticity Gap study...

CSR has a PR problem, and it’s not going away

Paul Afshar

August 2, 2017

It took only three days for the first corporates to step up to fill the vacuum left by Donald Trump’s exit from the Paris accord. Silicon Valley spoke first, followed by a chorus of CEOs, from Elon Musk to Jeff...

Outspoken CEOs and Tweeting in the Time of Trump

Betsy Borrelli

May 18, 2017

The first 100 days of the new U.S. political administration has continued to be a significant period of change for CEOs as they learn how to adapt to the new environment and how to reassure both consumers and employees that...

Does United Airlines really have a PR problem?

Angela Carmichael

April 12, 2017

Two days have passed since the now-infamous United Airlines incident and as professional communicators, it is important to glean as many lessons as possible from this disturbing event. The most important point I want to address is that the overwhelming...

Companies Need to Plan for Handling a Cybersecurity Breach

Angela Carmichael and Imran Ahmad

March 27, 2017

Our shift to a digital society has seen the emergence of a new kind of crime: stealing data and attacking company networks, whether for financial gain, to send a political message, or sometimes simply to prove a point. Not surprisingly,...

Communicating a Data Breach: Choose Your Words Carefully

Leslie Walsh

March 17, 2017

Cyber connectivity has enabled companies to understand and interact with consumers in a far more sophisticated way than ever before. At the same time, hackers are increasingly upping the ante with schemes and full-blown attacks that are becoming impossible to...

The Asian Century: An opportunity for innovation over isolationism

Rachel Catanach

February 27, 2017

In the words of Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A-Changin’. Last year delivered two historic changes in the West: Brexit and the election of President Trump. The implications for international tax, trade and immigration are great. But from the...

Election Spotlight Brings CEOs Into the Forefront

Elizabeth Borrelli

February 26, 2017

The chief executives of big companies are always keen to promote their companies and their brands in the media. But in the fourth quarter of 2016, the outcome of the presidential election gave CEOs even more to talk about in...

What Is the Responsibility of an Organization for the Facts It Puts Into the Public Domain?

Peter Verrengia

February 17, 2017

For the past 40 years, I would have expected to answer this question in this one sentence: “All audiences have a reasonable expectation that an organization is responsible for the facts it puts into the public domain.” For clarity, I...

Are Your Symbols In Sync With Your Story?

Leslie Walsh

December 13, 2016

Last week, the Bank of Canada announced that beginning in 2018, Viola Desmond’s likeness will appear on our currency. An icon of the human rights and freedom movement who defiantly refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre...

How does your CEO compare?

Betsy Borrelli

December 12, 2016

How do CEOs communicate compared to their peers? Our own Betsy Borrelli describes our just released Q3 report. As CEOs increase their public profile, how do they communicate compared to their peers and CEOs in other sectors? What are they...

Preparing Your CEO for the Role of Senior Statesman

Marjorie Benzkofer

December 5, 2016

There is a need for a stronger voice of leadership in the C-Suite, but many executives struggle to articulate how and why their business matters to society. As communicators, we must be better prepared to help guide these executives to...

Is NGO Scrutiny Reducing Supply Chain Transparency?

Laura Tyson

November 16, 2016

NGOs play a vital role in regulating and holding brands and retailers to account, especially when it comes to the transparency of their supply chains – but are their radars locked onto the wrong targets? In the past decade the...

Build a Brand Reputation with Effective Cause Marketing

Janet Robinson

October 31, 2016

We live in a time of advertising disruption with ad free digital destinations, ad blocking and banner advertising blindness. In addition, traditional advertising platforms are utilized but exceptional breakout creative execution is a must in order for messaging to stand out....

Millennials Rise to Power in Hong Kong

Elizabeth Fung

October 5, 2016

The outcome of the 2016 Legislative Council Election has not only affirmed the power of Millennials in social mobilization, but also their influence at home. The dust has settled on the floor of the Legislative Council, more succinctly known as...

The Age of the Media Artisan

Rachel Catanach

October 3, 2016

I cringe when I see the word artisan.  It’s over-used and applied liberally when there is no evidence of real craft.  I saw a large property company recently claiming their development was artisanal and the mind boggled. However, it is...

Is your reputation 2017 ready?

Nick Andrews

September 22, 2016

Reputation. Every company has one, like it or not, and almost everyone would agree that reputation is a business asset. Many business leaders, however, particularly within SMEs, are leaving the management of their reputation to accident. At best, this is...

Spontaneity, Community, and Subtlety in Digital Content

Adam Reichmann

September 21, 2016

As a creative director attending a digital marketing conference, I felt a little bit like a jazz musician at an orchestra conductor convention. I knew generally what was going on, but it was not really my world. As a result,...

How PR Pros Can Turn Smart CEOs Into Dynamic Communicators

Jack Modzelewski and J.J. Carter

March 29, 2016

Corporate directors and shareholders assess performance primarily on business and financial results. They also have an obligation to evaluate leaders, particularly chief executives, on their ability to inspire organizations to achieve great feats, such as rallying people to make game-changing products...

Three Qualities PR Professionals Can’t Afford to Lose – and Two They Need to Gain

Rachel Catanach

February 18, 2016

My husband was a great fan of David Bowie and really grieved for him when he died. When he heard the news he changed his Facebook profile picture to his favourite Bowie image and played his music every night for...

Perfect Your Prose: Learn to Write Well. But Why?

Paul Dusseault, APR

February 2, 2016

The admonition to “write well” is the wallpaper of counsel to young PR professionals — ubiquitous, but unnoticed. Missing from a lot of the figurative flogging is a reason (beyond the obvious) to lean in to the task of improving...

The Importance of Public Relations Involvement in Native Advertising

Janet Robinson

January 15, 2016

Native advertising has become one of the most popular forms of advertising in recent years and shows no signs of losing popularity with advertisers and audiences. Publishers and producers in print, digital and broadcast have invested time and money to...

A truth well told…PR professionals should keep the art of writing alive

Rachel Catanach

November 18, 2015

Content marketing specialists seem to be the new “job du jour”. Every creative and communication firm wants one and those that have them claim that their person can create gold from straw. For PR professionals, now is the time to...

Cheaters never win, in love and reputation

Angela Carmichael

September 17, 2015

As FleishmanHillard in Toronto prepares to unveil our latest Authenticity Gap research results on September 22, the need to take stock of how reputations and brands are made and lost has never been more obvious. In today’s connected world, public...

Protecting Corporate Reputations with the Investment in a Cybersecurity Team

Janet Robinson

September 16, 2015

All too often in the age of digital communication, corporations are faced with cyber security attacks that lead to data breaches involving loyal customer’s secure financial and identity information. When these cybersecurity attacks become public, the reputation of the corporation...

Cybercrime – from the IT Department to the Boardroom

Brian West

September 8, 2015

Where we shop and what we purchase, to how we travel to work, we constantly give up personal information for the sake of convenience – the Internet of Things (IOT) has effectively made mines out of our mobile phones for...

Cannes – The short and long of it. From Lions to Elephants.

Rachel Catanach

August 26, 2015

The dust is settling following the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The winners of the coveted gold Lions were decided following a marathon judging effort. The results were then dissected amidst a whirlwind of backchat and canapés. Among...

Who Says What You Say?

Paul Dusseault

August 3, 2015

Marshall McLuhan’s mantra, “The medium is the message” is never so on display as in the selection of a spokesperson in times of crisis. Nor is the Authenticity Gap – the delta between an organization’s behavior and the public’s expectation....

Authentic sponsorship – a win for athletes, fans and internal teams

Leslie Walsh

June 15, 2015

Two exciting events dominated women’s sport last week – the FIFA Women’s World Cup kick off and, perhaps lesser known, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. And while FIFA continues to inspire debate around ethics and equality in sport, KPMG’s backing...

From Know Thyself to Be Thyself. Proust Questionnaire first step to enlightenment

Rachel Catanach​​​​​​

April 29, 2015

Every CEO should have a go at answering the Proust Questionnaire. You know the one. It forms the basis of Vanity Fair’s inside back page and has questions like: What is your greatest fear? Which words or phrases do you...

If the shoe fits and looks great, do ethics really matter?

Leslie Walsh​​

April 28, 2015

I recently purchased a suit from the Canadian apparel company Judith & Charles. I was drawn by the cut and fabric, and sold on fit and price – at 30 per cent off, it was a steal. Days later, when...

The Power of the POV

Nick Andrews​

April 15, 2015

I was talking to a friend last week who was vexed. Why, he wondered, was his colleague, a man with over 40 years of experience in his sector, so reluctant to express a point of view? He clearly had one....

Expectation Leaders move beyond disruptive innovation by truly understanding what customers want

Betsy Neville

March 25, 2015

Netflix revolutionized the TV Industry. Chipotle promises “Food with Integrity.” CVS banned tobacco product sales company-wide. Starbucks introduced free Wi-Fi at all stores. PayPal paved the way for mobile payments and IKEA introduced furniture to charge your phone. These companies...

Critical Corporate Reputation Builder…The Voice of Employees

Janet Robinson

March 16, 2015

Many words of advice have been written on the subject of reputation and on the critical factors that contribute to the development of a world class corporate reputation. A list of these factors often include mission, core values, product or...

Five Tips for Corporate Leaders in the Year of the Goat

Rachel Catanach

March 5, 2015

February 19, 2015 heralded the beginning of the Year of the Goat. Whatever your views on the Chinese zodiac signs, the start of the new year is an opportune time for companies to reflect on their own predictions for the...

You Have Been Measuring the Wrong Things

Jake Rosen

February 23, 2015

Public relations and communications professionals not only safeguard the reputation of brands, but they also have the important job of helping to shape the ever-evolving, external perception of brands. In order to show a brand where they need to go,...

The Power of Propaganda

Nick Andrews

February 19, 2015

A while ago I visited the British Library in London and caught an excellent exhibition called “Propaganda: Power and Persuasion.” At it, multimedia displays covered everything from the use of propaganda to demoralise the enemy during wartime, to its use...

Crowdsourced Opinions vs Expert Knowledge

Holly Stark

December 15, 2014

Planning a recent vacation led me to a multitude of online reviews. I combed through Trip Advisor for hotel appraisals, Chowhound, Eater, and Yelp for restaurant reviews, and local city-centric sites for cultural offerings. Crowdsourced opinions are a boon to...

Communication Challenges for Organizations with International Scope

Darío Cutín

November 14, 2014

Companies and institutions from Latin American countries with an international presence, or with expansion plans, face major communication challenges that need to be adequately addressed, as they can impact the results of their global ventures. However, organizations often rely on...

The Responsibility that Comes with Power

John Onoda

October 8, 2014

This is an excerpt from remarks John Onoda recently made at a meeting of The Arthur Page Society, an organization comprised of the heads of communications at Fortune 500 companies, CEOs of major PR agencies and leading PR academics. Public...

Fooling Ourselves

Marc Lepere

September 10, 2014

Last week Professor Alexis Jay issued her report into the scandal of child-sex abuse in Rotherham, in the North of England. It is shocking reading; 1,400 children were sexually abused in the town over 16 years and it is overwhelmingly...

It’s time for brands to renew their marriage vows

Rachel Catanach​

August 12, 2014

I’ve just attended a wedding in Butterwick, Lincolnshire. It was an opportunity to experience the pastoral English countryside, eat the locally famous sausages and plum bread, and catch up with friends from Hong Kong and the UK. During the wedding...

Big Data science and the art of reputation management

John Onoda

August 5, 2014

The art of reputation management rests on the skills of communications professionals, the tools at their disposal and the raw material they have to work with. In the early days of public relations, the skills were mostly journalistic; the tools...

The Communications Conundrum

Nick Andrews

July 22, 2014

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Communications is not, intellectually, very complicated. It’s not like quantum physics or complex neurosurgery, for example, and very few of us have PhDs. But despite this, communications is very rarely done...

“Do as I say, not as I do” leadership model recipe for disaster

Rachel Catanach

July 14, 2014

Recently on the front page of the Financial Times, there was an article about an internal video sent out to Deutsche Bank traders by Colin Fan, the co-head of the global investment bank. The video included a severe warning to...

It does matter what they think

Terri Larson

July 7, 2014

Perception is reality. This is a paradigm I face daily in my work at Enbridge, one of North America’s largest oil and gas pipeline companies. Negative perceptions make effective communication challenging and can make the difference between a successful project...

Managing reputation in the shark tank

John Onoda

June 19, 2014

You need a stopwatch nowadays to measure the time between an issue arising and some pundit, blogger, third-party expert, politician or garden-variety idiot expressing an opinion either through social media or via some news outlet. The attacks start almost instantly...

Tell me a story

Nick Andrews​​​

May 28, 2014

Anyone who has children, as I do, will at some point have received the request to “tell me a story.” Stories are a fundamental part of being human. In days of mass illiteracy, stories were the way in which society...

Courting China

Laura Tyson​​​​

May 20, 2014

“Welcome. Your reputation precedes you.” Not perhaps the words you want to hear uttered on your first meeting with the prospective in-laws or your new boss on the first day of a new job. They may as well say “We’ve...

Hello emotion, goodbye Mr. Spock

John Onoda

May 2, 2014

To me, corporate communications has always been a field where “Star Trek’s” Mr. Spock could excel because it requires rigorously rational, strategic thinking. It’s a science that involves pragmatically balancing stakeholder perceptions and responses in ways that support business outcomes....

Longing for the days of William Saffire

Anne McCarthy​​

April 24, 2014

I miss William Saffire. I miss the passionate discussions about the English language. I miss the fervent debates about the meaning of words and phrases. In a world where everyone can be a publisher and virtually everyone has the ability...

Communicator 3.0

Nick Andrews​​​​​​​​​​​​

April 11, 2014

Not so long ago, I sat on a panel at a conference in Prague (yes, I know, tough life). Anyway, the subject was “The Communicator 3.0.” What, therefore, does the next generation of communicator look like? Will we be different,...

What brands can learn from literature

Rachel Catanach​​​​

March 21, 2014

The story of “The Old Man and the Sea” is a compelling tale of triumph over adversity. Ernest Hemingway takes us on a journey where the protagonist, Santiago, battles it out with a huge marlin. The story is not just...

The reputation of the communications function inside the organization

John Onoda​​

March 14, 2014

Inside the corporations that aren’t near the top of Fortune’s Most Admired list — in other words, at most businesses — a commonly asked question is “What program can we do to be among the companies that get all the...

Lessons from Ozymandius

John Onoda

January 21, 2014

Lessons from Ozymandius I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip,...

My friendly (Big) Brother

Nick Andrews

January 3, 2014

As a Brit, I’m not all that enamoured of conspiracy theories. Raised on a seemingly endless stream of government mishaps, as a nation I think we believe more in ‘cock up’ than conspiracy, unable to credit any government department with...

Ho Ho Ho

Nick Andrews

December 10, 2013

As the holiday season approaches, it is worth considering how that great mainstay of Christmas cheer, Santa Inc, has managed to maintain its stellar reputation after literally decades at the top. Seen through the prism of the nine drivers of...

How far does corporate responsibility go?

Betsy Neville

November 25, 2013

Do companies have a responsibility beyond their core business to ensure the individual health and well-being of people? Clearly companies should do no harm to their employees and consumers. Today the question extends to whether or not it is the...

Can corporate reputation lessons be found in global affairs?

John Onoda

November 14, 2013

When I see North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un relying on Dennis Rodman to establish his credibility with the American public, read that Venezuela’s leader has tried to influence national elections by moving Christmas to November, and hear reports that...

To Get Real Results, Go Beyond Corporate Responsibility

Michelle Mulkey

November 7, 2013

This changing CSR climate is why we at FleishmanHillard are challenging our clients to do more than just “check the box” and go beyond responsibility to drive real reputational results. FleishmanHillard’s CSR Practice approaches this work with the dual goal...

No more “rearranging the deck chairs”

Anne McCarthy

October 31, 2013

Not too long ago, corporate re-orgs were sarcastically referred to as ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.’ Rather than taking decisive actions to eliminate waste and upgrade capabilities, many reorganizations simply amounted to ‘work arounds’ that were short on...

Chinese market investors need to know

Patrick Yu

October 28, 2013

Many people think that emerging markets are an asset class, which is a common misconception. Unless you are buying emerging market ETFs or mutual funds, equities in different emerging markets and China are very unique. It is similar to investing...

Office Politics and Corporate Reputation

John Onoda

October 9, 2013

Just talking about office politics leaves an unpleasant taste in some peoples’ mouths, which may explain why many are slow to learn that corporate communicators must have political influence to protect and strengthen corporate reputations. In some of the most...

Compliance shouldn’t be a dirty word

Rachel Catanach

October 2, 2013

With the Chinese government’s crackdown on drug companies, sales and profits and even the staff morale of the companies under investigation are under threat. Hong Kong-listed Chinese pharmaceutical company Sino Biopharmaceutical is the latest to be affected with its shares...

How do others do it?

Harald Simons

September 25, 2013

Authentic companies usually don’t care how others do it – they focus on how they can do it. Taking some liberties with Robert Benchley’s Law of Distinction, it would read: “There are two kinds of companies in the world, those...

Do the Maths

Nick Andrews

September 17, 2013

I often find myself having to explain what we do to rooms full of empirically-oriented people. Engineers, in particular, can be tricky, tending to regard communications as, at best, a black art and, at worst, actively and terminally fluffy. Under...

What do we value more: Capability or Character?

Marjorie Benzkofer

September 4, 2013

Flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet is a good place to sort out the confounding. That’s where I was this week musing about a conversation with a client who fervently pointed to Walmart as an example of a company...

Why is Progress around Corporate Reputation So Slow and Uneven?

John Onoda

August 20, 2013

For decades, top corporate and agency PR professionals fought to convince CEOs and chairmen of large organizations that: Corporate reputation is real It has a significant impact on current and future success. They won. Today leaders in the private and...

Shifting Sands: Using Corporate Responsibility to Protect Corporate Reputation in China

Rachel Catanach

August 6, 2013

When sales at KFC stores in China collapsed by nearly a third earlier this year, experts wondered if the company, which is owned by Yum! Brands, was losing its touch in the market. Many argued that the company that delighted...

Corporate Communications – Avoiding a Crisis of Confidence

Betsy Neville

August 2, 2013

A recent Wall St. Journal opinion piece by Gerald F. Seib calls out the “Crisis of Confidence” in government. His is a familiar theory on expectations and their relationship with disapproval. Seib’s commentary on what happens when government does not...

Back to the future: Protocols for the 21st Century

Anne McCarthy

July 30, 2013

Not sure when it happened.  I think it was somewhere between the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the advent of Web 2.0.   Business manners are no longer “in” and protocols are definitely “out.” Don’t get me wrong.  I love the informality of...

Do You Have Your Licence?

Nick Andrews

May 31, 2013

Do you remember getting your driving licence? The thrill of having passed and the promise of the open road. Wonderful, wasn’t it? Of course, it didn’t mark the point at which you could drive. You developed the ability to drive...

The End of Management by Accident

Nick Andrews

May 21, 2013

How many of the people we work with have the title “Communications Director” or “Communications Manager?” It must be hundreds if not thousands of them. The conceit here, of course, is that communications can be ‘managed’ or indeed ‘directed’ in...

Transparency? It’s Not Clear At All.

Nick Andrews

May 6, 2013

Is there no end to our appetite for information? Seemingly not. The consequence of so much information swilling around, available 24/7 at a push of a couple of buttons, is not that we are sated. In fact, it is quite...

The Importance and Benefits of Authentic Leadership

Janet Robinson

April 4, 2013

In an era of increasing stakeholder cynicism and scrutiny of brands, corporations and leadership, effective leaders recognize early on that an intense focus on corporate authenticity is as close to the proverbial silver bullet as you can get. In my...

The Page Society: Authenticity Remains ‘Coin of the Realm’ For Successful Leaders

Roger Bolton

April 3, 2013

In 2007, the Arthur W. Page Society published our first report on the changing role of the chief communications officer in light of a radical transformation of the business environment. The report was called The Authentic Enterprise. It observed that...

Authentic Leadership: Four Qualities Francis I Will Need as a CEO

James S. O'Rourke

April 2, 2013

As Jorge Mario Bergoglio assumes his position as the 266th pontiff to occupy St. Peter’s chair in the Vatican, he can be certain of at least a few things: first, no CEO in the world will receive more scrutiny; second,...

Why Net Promoter Scores are NOT Good Measures of Your Reputation

Marjorie Benzkofer

March 30, 2013

Do you have a single relationship in your life where you could ask just one question and fully understand the current mindset of that person? Why then do companies rely so heavily on a single, “silver bullet” question to measure...

Working Out Loud

Nick Andrews

March 28, 2013

The other day, at a seminar, I heard someone remark that companies increasingly had to start ‘working out loud.’ To me, this summed up the biggest change facing corporate communications in a generation. Many people have titles like “Communications Director”...

When M&A Make Brand and Reputation Collide

Betsy Neville

March 20, 2013

There is no time the collision between brand and reputation becomes more apparent than during a merger or split. What a company says and does during this delicate period of uncertainty can make or break the success of the transition...