CEOs Face Communications Tightrope This Fall
September 24, 2020
As the global pandemic enters its seventh month, the economic uncertainty and social unrest has put businesses and their leaders in a precarious position. From employees to business partners to investors, CEOs face mounting and divergent expectations on how and whether to address topics at the intersection of business management and societal priorities. A June...
Lessons from Asia: Values Key to Managing Resurgence Balancing Act
August 4, 2020
The saying, Fortune favours the bold, has frequently been used in military contexts to inspire people in battle to take appropriate risk. The situation communicators find themselves in today with COVID-19 certainly has many parallels with war. Truth has been the first casualty. Consumers are having to scramble through a mish-mash of polemic and misinformation....
How to ‘Build Back Better’ When it Comes to the Employee Imperative
July 28, 2020
Responsible employee messaging has never been more important The tragic and despicable deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, together with the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis, have sparked a revolution that is taking hold across the developed world. A revolution that calls for the reevaluation and dismantling of the systems, authorities and hierarchies that...
“What Next?” A Perspective on the Next 90 Days
July 24, 2020
The current combination of severe uncertainty and unrest around health, economic, social and political issues present the most complex communication environment we have ever experienced. Companies, brands and institutions of all kinds face unprecedented operating pressure, organizational uncertainty and relationship destabilization, all leading to serious reputation and brand risk. New surges of COVID-19 infection in...
Employee Engagement Virtual Salon: Panel Discussion
July 16, 2020
Back in March 2020, as the COVID pandemic began to significantly impact global businesses, FleishmanHillard invited a small group of internal communicators to a virtual Salon to share notes and insights on employee communications. Held every two weeks, the Salon quickly grew into a lively forum with over 30 internal communicators hearing from and learning...
Maintaining Momentum After a Reduction in Force
July 8, 2020
In the constantly evolving COVID-19 environment, only one thing is certain: change. Change for you, your company and your employees. Among the myriad challenges the pandemic has created for employers, reductions in force (RIF) – whether temporary furloughs or permanent layoffs – are one of the most difficult and delicate to navigate. Though sometimes a...
Race and the Technology Sector's Reckoning: Questions to Ask Now
June 30, 2020
The technology sector has an outsized role to play in supporting health and economic outcomes, and in enabling people to live better lives. The industry itself has created that expectation, with the promise of improved well-being so often highlighted by tech leaders when they talk about their products and services, partnerships, job creation and investment...
The Price of Screen Presence: Will Working from Home Impact Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?
May 6, 2020
Amidst a situation like the one our world is in, it’s human nature to turn inward and focus on basic needs. But there’s a balance that must be found between “survival mode” and normalcy. Today’s businesses know this all too well. As they shift and restructure to continue serving customers and employees, they face a...
Double Down on CSR: Not Despite the Pandemic, but Because of It
April 30, 2020
Two key insights from our company’s new research report, COVID-19 Mindset, underscore a belief many of us already share: What your company does today will have an indelible impact on its reputation moving forward. In light of that, it’s amazing that consumers in all six countries feel employers play just as big of a role...
CEO Communications During the COVID-19 Recovery
April 29, 2020
The scale and duration of the COVID-19 crisis has forced CEO communications into new territory, pushing the divides between professional and personal matters and looking more holistically at the needs of business and society. But, as the public lens shifts from crisis response to navigating the long-term strategy for social and economic recovery, CEOs and...
Preparing Employees for a Return to the Workplace
April 27, 2020
It’s work Jim, but not as we know it. As governments around the world begin easing restrictions, a return to the workplace is top of mind for communicators. This phase requires active management of employee expectations and providing clarity and direction when they return to work – addressing organizational, health and safety, and emotional challenges...
Connect at the Intersection: Inclusivity During a Global Pandemic
April 23, 2020
COVID-19 is affecting us all – but not equally. Our experience of this pandemic depends in part on where we are in the world, what type of job we have, what our housing situation is and even how big our families are. The resilience of our healthcare systems and our ability to access care are...
Chinese Consumers Show All-Critical Resilience on the Road to Recovery
April 16, 2020
“May you live in interesting times” is purportedly an old Chinese curse used ironically to indicate times of trouble. For me – and I suspect for many comms professionals – the COVID-19 pandemic potentially represents the most “interesting” project of a lifetime – both personally and professionally. From a Hong Kong perspective, it was interesting to...
Don't Just Ask "How Can We Help?" Ask These Questions Instead.
March 30, 2020
Many organizations are asking “What should we do to help in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?” One of my most fundamental beliefs about the creative process is that a question is what an idea looks like just before it’s an idea. So, with input from my smart FleishmanHillard colleagues Bob Axelrod, Josh Rogers, Leela...
From CSR to PSR: Lessons from the Pandemic
March 24, 2020
I have asthma — one of the underlying conditions that elevates the health risks of COVID-19. And my son is preparing to be a physician assistant. So, the challenges the world faces today are quite personal to me. For decades, I’ve helped companies become better corporate citizens — and, as a result, improved their businesses...
How Are You Supporting Your Employees Who Are Still Going into Work?
March 24, 2020
As the world attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19, businesses everywhere have instructed employees (who can) to do their jobs from home. For workers in manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, call centers, service depots and retail locations, this isn’t an option. If these operations have been able to continue in your company, it’s critical that...
World Water Day: Three Ways Companies Can Take a Stand
March 19, 2020
As much of the world woke up to the news that COVID-19 was a global pandemic, I was just wrapping up a week of visiting water programs throughout the northern half of Mozambique. It’s an experience that makes you realize two things: How we in the developed world tend to take this precious resource almost...
Six Things to Consider Before You Send That Blast Email Update …
March 19, 2020
People are inundated with COVID-19 updates from nearly every organization they’ve ever interacted with. The less value those emails bring, the faster communication fatigue sets in. And that, in turn, gets in the way of building positive stakeholder relationships and affinity for your organization. Here are our guidelines for thinking through not just what to...
Navigating COVID-19: A Test of Reputation and Reality
March 17, 2020
2020 may be remembered as the year that the world changed irrevocably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The year when working from home (WFH) became the norm rather than the exception. The year when holding virtual events became an expertise. The year when social distancing and social isolation became common terms. The year when medical...
CEO Communications: Beyond Policies and Practices
March 16, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic sends shockwave after shockwave through the business world, leaders are scrambling to communicate how their organization is staying in front of the crisis to maintain the health and safety of employees and customers. But that is only half of the job before us. When confidence is shaken by so many unknowns...
Don’t Make It Personal, CEOs
February 18, 2020
Consumers and stakeholders want to know organizations are doing more than turning out new and shiny products for sale. It’s part of the new job description for CEOs — they must address the ways real-world issues and the seemingly endless cycle of disruption can create an opportunity to innovate with purpose and improve practices and...
Societal Themes Shaping 2020
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 her as a “galvanizing force” – the “avatar of a broader...
Telling a Complete Brand Story
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 tell a story about our products and services or a story about its heart and...
42x The Cost of Crisis Communications Management and Everything Else in the Universe
November 14, 2019
When Douglas Adams wrote “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” he added a joke which has become famous over the years: “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” Like the broader narrative of Hitchhiker, which follows the (mis)adventures in space of the last surviving human hoping to be...
What Makes a Company a Great Place to Work Might Not Be What You Think
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” study, that topic now registers dead last in importance with workers. It’s not because employees...
Authenticity, Action and the Age of Employee Activism
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 to act decisively on issues that matter to them. Last week it was climate change,...
Is the Jig Up for the Gig Economy?
September 20, 2019
The fight is on to define what being an employee means for more than a million people in California, with consequences that reach far beyond. Disruptive business models are being disrupted. This time by the law of the land. Companies like Uber and Lyft owe much of their success to the cost savings reaped by...
Consumers Care About People, Not Products
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 by who. Imagine a story that reveals the craftsmanship behind who made the product or...
The Authenticity Gap
August 18, 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 and our careers with the lessons we learned through hard-won experience. But that collection of...
The Opportunity Cost of Not Having an Executive LinkedIn Profile
June 28, 2019
Today executives are challenged more than ever before to keep pace with the ever-evolving workplace. Digital transformation, the gig economy and the rise of the next gen workforce are more than just buzzwords – they’re proof points that the business world is radically and rapidly changing all around us. According to a recent eMarketer report,...