Communications

Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged in Your Training Programs

Creating a strong compliance program is only half the battle.

By Kristin Caplice

For those involved with corporate compliance and employee training programs, the hardest challenges are how to engage employees and get your messages to stick.

Here are the top ten things that have worked for us at Analog Devices:

  • Put Some Weight Behind It. Everyone talks about “tone at the top” but it’s critical to demonstrate to your employees how important your compliance program is to your executives and Board of Directors. If they don’t take it seriously, why should your employees? Before we launched our compliance training program, we filmed our executives talking about the importance of the program and circulated the video to all employees.
  • Involve Your Employees. Before you launch a training module, solicit input from the employees you are seeking to train.

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CRO Summit Boston Recap

Top newsmakers and best practitioners highlighted a riveting conference.

By the editors

At Boston’s historic Harvard Club in April the CRO Summit advanced three themes in the evolution of the newest corporate profession: capital markets reform, progress on sustainability practices, and the rapid evolution of the CR professions themselves. While those themes were newsworthy, it was the headliners who really turned heads.
The one-day lineup included a riveting exploration of the financial crisis with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and TARP “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg, moderated by CR Magazine Editor-in-Chief Dirk Olin. Spitzer, the former New York Attorney General who made his reputation prosecuting corporate malfeasance (before his fall from grace), began by extolling Feinberg’s career. Spitzer expressed appreciation for the mediation service that Feinberg has provided in the TARP case, and before that in deciding payouts for 9/11 victims.

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Top Trends for CR in 2010

The buzz we are hearing.

By Jay Whitehead

If there is any single question we at CR Magazine get asked the most, it’s what is coming around the corner. The truth is that we have no crystal ball. But because we get the question a lot, we spend more time than anyone else asking around. Then we write down what we hear. And we report it to you. Here are today’s nine most-anticipated CR trends, and why you should care.

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The Ten at the Top

Using an established customer satisfaction process adapted from CR Magazine’s sister publications, we identified the top players in the PR space, using data and feedback from your colleagues and other readers. 

By Elliot Clark

Ranking service providers is a new and ongoing feature of CR Magazine, designed to improve the practice of corporate responsibility. We have implemented strict survey protocols developed in our HR publications that are described below.

Service providers are an important tool in the arsenal of the Corporate Responsibility Officer.  One key partner is the communication firm. Being a good citizen is paramount, but to maximize the benefit of good citizenship you need to communicate with customers, shareholders, and employees.

Corporate Responsibility Officers, or CROs, are at a point of evolution similar to where human resources leaders were prior to 1980. HR was then known as personnel, or, in unionized companies, labor relations.

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FTC Plots New Path for Green Guides

Some marketers call for clear definitions, enforcement to curtail unsubstantiated claims

 

By James C. Hyatt

 

At the Federal Trade Commission, it’s not easy being green.

 

The agency’s Green Guides for years have provided guidance on what sort of environmental claims are permissible.But words like “sustainable” and “renewable” weren’t commonly thrown around in 1998 amid the last revision.And few at that juncture had dreamed of “carbon offset” markets or heard of “carbon neutral” behavior.

 

So while there is general agreement the guides need to be updated, the effort has stirred lots of comment.

 

The FTC already has held two public workshops--on green marketing and carbon claims--and is leaning toward a third exploring “green” building and “green textiles.

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No Paint-by-Numbers

To avoid the sins of greenwashing, look between the lines

By Scot Case

Scot CaseCorporate responsibility officers frequently find themselves in tough positions. Striving to help their companies improve environmental and social performance, CROs want to promote an organization’s successes while simultaneously preventing others in the company from overstating accomplishments.

Unfortunately, as a recent in-store survey of product-specific environmental claims suggests, CROs might need to be a bit more vigilant about the environmental claims being made on product packaging.

After examining the environmental claims found on 1,018 products from six North American retailers, TerraChoice discovered that all but one of the products failed to meet the environmental marketing recommendations promoted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.

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Getting Automated

Manual approaches to data-gathering exhaust resources and lead to lost business opportunities

By Holly Roland

Companies around the world are adopting sustainable business practices focused on improving global economic, social and environmental conditions, and they look to corporate sustainability reports—or corporate responsibility reports—to promote their positive brand with internal and external stakeholders.

A recent UC Berkeley Center for Responsible Business study cited three factors as significantly impacting consumer acceptance of sustainability initiatives. These are: the sustainability initiative’s fit, meaning similarities between corporate mission and social initiative; timing, whether proactive or reactive; and motivation, relating to whether the company wants to take a “purely social” position or a mixture of profit and social considerations.

Low-fit initiatives negatively impact customer beliefs, attitudes and intentions regardless of the firm’s motivation.

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Lessons From the Mattel Crisis

Corporations should be candid and communicate to multiple audiences Teddy Bear

By Richard Levick

Regardless of what business you’re in, the toy industry’s recent ordeals concern you directly. The patterns and public challenges are broadly relevant, and the lessons to be derived are universally applicable to diverse professional and industrial pursuits.

First, a little background.

When Mattel recalled 18.2 million toys with potentially harmful tiny magnets, it was likely just the tip of the iceberg for the toy industry, and that should not be too surprising, if we remember that 80 percent of the world’s toys are manufactured in China. The world’s best-known toy makers outsource to some 10,500 toy contractors in China. Mattel alone uses 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese contractors, and 65 percent of Mattel’s toys are pieced together there.

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CSR Agency Bucks Trend, Closes U.S. Office

Flag pulls dedicated staff person in the U.S. in favor of consultants, U.K. staff.

By Dennis Schaal

Despite the surge in CSR reporting in the United States, CSR communications agency Flag decided to take a lower profile in North America, opting to close its one-person Chicago office in favor of servicing its high profile clients with consultants, and with staff, from its Cambridge, U.K., headquarters.

In tandem with the decision, apparently made by parent company Computershare, Flag CSR communications consultant Christina Siun O'Connell recently left the company.

O’Connell became Flag’s CSR communications consultant in September 2005 when it opened the Chicago office as part of a planned expansion in North America.

Formerly a director of CSRWire before moving to Flag, O’Connell told The CRO Wednesday that she plans to remain in the CSR industry, although she declined to reveal her next post.

The operational changes at Flag appear to have more to do with business decisions at Computershare than about the viability of the U.

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