CSR Blogs

News Sites Emphasize Sloths, Social Good

A “help wanted” posting by an executive editor at The Huffington Post caught my eye recently.

Few news organizations have keener insights into the type of content that compels readers to click and share, so the fact that HuffPost is beefing up its “Good News” section is indeed good news for CSR and sustainability communicators.

“Do you communicate with your friends in GIFs? Do you have airtight journalism standards? Can you...

Thaw and Learn: 14 Winter, Spring 2016 CSR & Sustainability Conferences

Accountants have been around since the abacus. Personnel managers began issuing pink slips to unlucky employees as early as 1910. 

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability officers are a much more recent breed of corporate professional. Their numbers are growing, with more than 7,000 organizations now issuing sustainability reports, up from a few dozen in the early 1990s.

Because few companies have long-established departments staffed with generations of veteran CSR pros to teach newbies the ins and outs of corporate citizenship, learning often takes place during...

CVS Tobacco Ban Wins Market Share, One Octogenarian at a Time

Larry Merlo gets a gold star from retired pre-school teacher Reva Sipser.

The president and CEO of CVS Health banned sales of cigarettes at the chain’s more than 7,900 stores in 2014, proclaiming, “Tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered.”

The move sacrificed billions in cigarette-related retail revenue. But the positive reaction of Reva Sipser, age 88, suggests CVS Health’s reputation boost may be worth far more in the faster growing health and pharmacy segment.  

“When I saw that CVS was no longer selling cigarettes, I decided to...

UN Sustainable Development Goals are Pfizer's 'Christmas Windows' Display

Just two blocks from Grand Central Terminal, Pfizer’s headquarters on East 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan gets plenty of vehicular and foot traffic.

While it’s not Times Square, the location would earn a solid B+ from marketers if they could use the pharmaceutical giant’s office tower as a billboard.

So the site takeover procured by Pfizer’s Chris Gray is a feat worthy of acknowledgment.

When I last saw Chris, Pfizer’s senior director of global institutions and corporate responsibility, at the BSR Conference in San Francisco, the United Nation’s 2030...

Eco-Innovator Ellen MacArthur Partners With H&M to Recycle Clothes

While attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe 11 years ago, British sailing champion Ellen MacArthur had plenty of time to think.

Sure, she probably considered how success might lead to being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II – and how she’d have to reprint her business cards to include the title Dame before her name.

But her 71 days alone at sea also allowed her to ponder weightier topics like ecology and industrial engineering.

“Without looking for it, I found something quite fundamental. That was that when you sail around the world in a...

No Unicorn Sightings at BSR

Just blocks from a San Francisco construction site that will become the new home of the 61-story Salesforce Tower, executives from across the globe gathered yesterday at BSR Conference to learn how to be better corporate citizens.

Salesforce, with a $53 billion market cap, dedicates 1 percent of its value – defined as profit, equity, and employee time --...

Giving Birth to a CSR Report

Companies that rely on their CSR report as a primary communications tool are missing the opportunity to tell their stories year-round to audiences that care about corporate citizenship, according to veteran CSR executives.

IBM has evolved its communications efforts from press releases to blogging, relying on 100 corporate citizen managers around the world, each with their own voice in social media, according to Kristina Kloberdanz, corporate responsibility leader for the tech giant.

“Now I’ve enabled the employees to be the spokespeople,” Kloberdanz told CSR pros at CR...

CSR "More Than Giving Away Money and Product Donations"

We’re on the ground in Washington for this week’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Conference, where corporate social responsibility leaders are demonstrating how they are closely tying business objectives to social impact.

Abbott talked about the success it’s having improving health care in Tanzania, where the company has invested...

It's time for the Social Tools Summit in San Francisco, Oct 27 - 28

This past May, I attended the Social Media Tools Summit in Boston. This event got me thinking about social media tools and organization in a new way. I was also able to get first-hand insight into how these tools are constantly improving and what is inspiring these developments. Well, October is almost here which means the San Francisco version of this conference is just weeks away, October 27 & 28! 

I highly reccomend Social Tools Summit as it is truly different from all those other social media conferences. The focus is on the tools that ...

Top 10 Fall Events for Sustainability Pros, Plus 2 Comms Conferences

As fall airfares drop, CSR and sustainability conferences are taking place across the United States.  Here's our Top 10 list, plus two communications-focused events that can help marketing and PR pros sharpen their skills. 

Wait & See, Not Far Enough

Boy Scouts of America Haven’t Earned Back Corporate Support Yet

On July 27, 2015, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ratified a resolution that removed the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees. The resolution allows chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation. However, the resolution provides an exemption that allows religious chartered organizations to continue to discriminate if doing so is in keeping with religious beliefs.

Since the announcement was made, there has been considerable speculation about...

Boy Scouts End Ban

New policy allows openly gay adult leaders

Psychologists have found that emotions, such as sadness, fear, anger, and happiness, influence information processing and memory in different ways. We’re more likely to recall events that happened decades ago due how we felt at that time over the details of a business conference call from last week.

This morning I watched the video announcing a monumental policy shift by Boy Scouts of America (BSA) President and former Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates. As you are most likely aware, the BSA has removed the national...

Practitioner to Educator: Writing the Book on CSR

One of the most social attributes of social media is the ease of sharing content and collaborating with others who want to share your content with their audience.

For writers disciplined enough to post quality content on a regular basis, it’s not unusual to receive offers to become a guest blogger or contributor to a site featuring stories on your area of expertise.

Whether you take advantage of the solicitations depends largely on whether you need the SEO value of links back to your site and – this is probably the bigger factor for many of us – if you have time to cram any...

Making a Difference Through the Media

Does someone who works in CSR and sustainability communications even belong at a conference on positive change through the media?

This question ran through my mind again and again as I drove through the Catskill  Mountains of New York last month, headed to the Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh) Summit.  The four-day conference and retreat brought together media professionals from a wide variety of fields: journalism, performing and visual arts, game design, advertising, public relations, non-profit leadership, psychology, academia and...

Corporations See Faster Sales Growth of Sustainable Products, Study Reveals

Many homeowners who installed energy-saving light bulbs five or 10 year ago were disappointed when they burned out prematurely, especially since the “green” bulbs cost significantly more than the old Thomas Edison-era filament models.

Same goes with the first generation of water-saving toilets, which met the government standard but didn’t get the job done reliably.

But manufacturers did not stop tinkering with their product designs and have created far superior replacement lines using LED bulbs and bathroom fixtures that actually work effectively while using even less water...

Extra Extra: Company Publishes 150+ Page PDF?

Let’s face it — if you’re breaking news with a sustainability report, you’re probably doing it wrong.

We came to this realization several years ago as we were changing up our reporting structure. We had moving stories, first-hand accounts and brilliant pictures. We also had great data, and loads of information on governance, policies, training and management. Did it really make sense to hold all this material and send it into the world once a year in a fell swoop?

Probably not. So we broke our “report” into a ...

Top Hashtags to Use for CSR & Sustainability Communication Pros

Not entirely sure what a hashtag is or how and why you should be using them in your tweets? Check out this blog post: The How’s and Why’s of Using Hashtags on Twitter. Once you have the basic understanding of hashtags down, it’s time to gwork towards selecting and using the best hashtags for your tweets.

Recommending hashtags is a task that ranges from simple to nearly impossible, but here are a few things to consider first:

  • What’s the main
  • ...

The How’s and Why’s of Using Hashtags on Twitter: A Primer for CSR & Sustainability Communication Pros

Hopefully there is someone on your team in charge of writing tweets to talk about your organization’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Ideally, this person also is well aware of hashtags and this post will give them a few ideas to keep striving for the perfect tweet. I stress the word striving here because social media is like a living creature, just when you think you have it figured out, it changes on you and adjustments will need to be made. If hashtags are still a foreign concept, this post will help with the translation.

Many communication pros still struggle...

Brand Sustainability Communications Lacking on Facebook, Study Finds

Only 40 percent of 195 multinational consumer goods brands in a new study are communicating about their sustainability efforts on Facebook, and just four companies are doing half of the talking, according to research from Sustainly.

Half of the Facebook discussion about sustainability happens on pages managed by McDonald’s, Dove, Coca-Cola and Nescafe, Matthew Yeomans, founder of the UK research firm, reported at 

...

The Evolution of Google+ Continues

Those of us working in CSR and sustainability communications know that getting content OUT into the world is only the beginning. We are constantly on the hunt to reach the right audience— those who are interested corporate social responsibility and will take action. Any opportunity to boost awareness, get the news read, inspire policy makers or improve search rankings —all while tracking results — is a worthy one. Google plays an enormous role in content discovery and when Google makes demands or gives advice, communicators listen.

Over four years ago, I anxiously awaited my invite...

Macy’s Adopts Returning Soldiers as Cause

We’re right smack dab in the middle of events season in the sustainability and CSR sector.

A big benefit of industry conferences is that staffers at small nonprofits can gain access to senior executives who work for big corporations.

Likewise, the high-powered officers who attend events like this week’s Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, and Cause Marketing Forum last week, love leaving the office to get inspired by peers and hear about innovative ideas.

With more than 800 stores in 45 states, Macy’s is one of the nation’s premier retailers for fashion and...

Seventh Generation Ad Shows Kids Licking Table

A mom’s decision to skip plates, forks and napkins as she serves giant slices of cake to a houseful of kids is a messy affair – and the setup for a powerful commercial created by the natural cleaner manufacturer Seventh Generation.

CMO Joey Bergstein screened the spot during Cause Marketing Forum, saying iconic brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Chipotle earned their status because “they are out to change the world.”

“We’re moving from educating people to inspiring people,” Bergstein said, adding that commercials produced by Seventh Generation have moved from citing statistics...

UN Foundation Reveals 17 Cause Marketing Goals

​In the same way Russian hackers salivate when they access a trove of credit card numbers, the execs attending Cause Marketing Forum were ecstatic when they got a sneak peek at previously undisclosed United Nations Foundation data.
 
Aaron Sherinian, chief communications and marketing officer for the UN Foundation, teased the 500 nonprofit and corporate marketers in Chicago ...

MediaVest Commits $54 Million in Free 'Paid' Media to Charity Partner

David Hessekiel joked that he fears for the safety of a media executive who presented at the Cause Marketing Forum after it was revealed that $54 million in free ad buys had been committed to a single charity partner.

Richard Hartell, president of strategy for MediaVest USA, had just shared details of a partnership the Publicis-owned media buying giant had struck with Share Our Strength to combat childhood hunger.

The size of...

Google and Twitter Team Up and Change Search

First there was Bennifer. Then Kimye. Now, there’s Gwitter. Or should we call it Twoogle?

It’s finally happening. Social media and search engines have finally joined forces. Internet marketers have been talking about this for years. Sure, Bing and Facebook have been in cahoots for a while now but Bing gets a bad wrap as a never-used search engine. (Surprisingly 20-percent of the search market share is now attributed to Bing – a slow but steady gain.) Whether this pressure from a...

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