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2019 Blog Posts

Societal Themes Shaping 2020

Bob Axelrod

December 17, 2019

She’s not old enough to drive a car in her hometown of Stockholm, but that didn’t keep teen climate activist Greta Thunberg from gracing the cover of Time as its youngest-ever Person of the Year or getting nominated for a Nobel Prize. Time described...

Telling a Complete Brand Story

Mandy Levings

December 11, 2019

Brands often struggle to tell a complete story. It’s even more challenging to tell a story that inspires consumers to sit up and listen – let alone act or change behavior as a result of said story. Does a brand...

The Perils of Pollyanna: Communications in a polarized and politicized academic environment

Brendan Streich

October 24, 2019

“It’s going to be a great year!” It’s an all-too-common phrase included in nearly every university president’s welcome email or convocation speech, in social posts and tweets, on the lips of every professor each fall. But the 2019-20 academic year...

What Makes a Company a Great Place to Work Might Not Be What You Think

Josh Rogers

October 22, 2019

It wasn’t long ago when employers faced a barrage of feedback from employees — and potential employees — about the critical importance of flexibility in the workplace. Interestingly, of the issues we asked about in this year’s “Authenticity in Action”...

Food and Beverage Companies – Are We Doing It Wrong?

Cameron Shields

October 15, 2019

In the food and beverage industry, it’s no surprise that better value is the No. 1 consumer expectation and makes up almost one quarter of all expectations within the industry. But as companies have been chasing new ways to deliver more for less, have they missed a...

How Do Brands Win the Hearts and Minds of Consumers in a New Space?

Candace Peterson

October 7, 2019

For a brand to enter a new space, it needs to set itself apart from the competition. Historically, this might have meant a pizza company with faster delivery. Or, a new brand of gum with flavor that lasts five times...

Authenticity, Action and the Age of Employee Activism

Bia Assevero

October 1, 2019

Climate change dominated conversations last week during the UN General Assembly in New York, with Greta Thunberg’s speech demanding leaders do better capturing headlines all over the world. Also capturing headlines with increasing regularity are employees publicly challenging their employers...

Focused on Products and Services? You’re Only Half Right

Paul Vosloo

September 27, 2019

The relationship between corporate brands and customers has changed dramatically over the past decade. Today’s audiences are no longer just passive consumers. They want to be part of the conversation — and are increasingly vocal in their expectation that businesses...

Consumers Care About People, Not Products

Kristin Hollins

August 29, 2019

Imagine for a second, you look at a tag or a label on a box and it tells a different kind of story. It’s not about what’s IN the box. It’s about HOW what’s in the box was created and...

Consumer Expectations Are Ramping Up, but Companies Need to Know When to Step Up

Elizabeth Borrelli

August 26, 2019

We live and work in a world where a single tweet can trigger significant reputational damage — to people and to brands. That’s partly because social media and other technology help information and ideas spread around the world faster now...

The Authenticity Gap

Marjorie Benzkofer

August 19, 2019

Think about the last decision you made about something you knew would impact your organization’s reputation. Was it based on years of experience and good instincts? If so, you likely missed the mark. For years, we have forged our craft...

No Guts, No Thank You

Emily Frager

January 23, 2019

There is no time more telling about the health of a company’s values then when an issue or crisis lands at the door. Whether a product fail, an executive misconduct, or a service break down – it’s surprising how many...

The Increasing Importance of Accountability and Expectation Setting

Natasha Kennedy

January 9, 2019

While I am passionate about accountability and expectation setting, I haven’t always understood them. Once, when I was young, I was supposed to be watching my brother, but instead, I was on the phone for an hour talking to my...