Tag Archives: Intel
Celebrations and Citizenship
June 15, 2011
Today is IBM’s 100th Birthday….it is also my daughter’s 16th birthday – so it is a big day all around. Unlike the celebration I am planning – which includes a party bus and a jam-packed day (and night) of entertainment, IBM is celebrating their day with service to the community.
This is an important trend in a citizenship movement by major corporations…the notion that service to others is more important than simple philanthropy. Checks to support the arts, medical research and hosting galas are all fine. Indeed, many worthwhile causes couldn’t survive without it. But more progressive organizations are looking at their ability to impact their communities in a hands-on, service oriented way.
For CSR to meaningful, it must be relevant – internally and externally. A service-oriented approach bridges that relevance gap in one simple swoop. Employees who are involved in a hands-on service project feel better about their companies, and feel proud to be a part of them. And demonstration of philanthropy and citizenship is more accretive to reputation than talking about it.
Here are some examples of great companies and brands who bring this philosophy to life:
• Starbucks has partnered with the HandsOn Network, a non-profit that organizes volunteer projects, and has a goal to donate 1 million community service hours from its employees by 2015. This is in addition to the $22.4 million Starbucks distributed in 2010 in corporate giving and grants.
• Disney’s VoluntEARS program allows employees to volunteer for causes of their choosing and aids in raising money for charities that employees support. Disney VoluntEARS assist in more than 2,200 projects through 495,000 hours annually. Employees also raised $1.7 million through Disney’s assistance.
• Intel supports its employees to volunteer all around the world and matches every volunteer hour with a monetary contribution. Intel also uses its employees’ capabilities to establish technology in classrooms in developing countries.
Similar programs from MWW clients – Deloitte’s Impact Day, a massive celebration of the organization’s year-round commitment to workplace volunteerism, and Nikon’s work in local communities both home and abroad contribute to a service-oriented approach.
Relevant approaches to worthwhile causes, which is meaningful CSR.
Reputation Begins At Home: Why Companies with “Top Reputations” Stay There, Despite Major Crises
June 9, 2011
What does that mean?
First, when it comes to lists and rankings, perception lags reality – good or bad. It takes time for the lists to reflect recent events. It also suggests that there is merit to the schools of thought around goodwill banks, and my personal POV that how you respond to the crisis can have more significance than the crisis itself. But there are some other interesting learnings here:
1. Reputation begins at home. A key driver of Google’s performance on this reputation score was their workplace culture, governance and citizenship. Perhaps Google.org wasn’t a bust after all. To be considered for the list, companies had to rank high in their home market as a “table stakes” for consideration.
2. The Art of Storytelling – a quick breeze through the Top 10 suggests that the ability to tell a great story – to stand for something beyond just your products or services…whether it is innovation and design (Apple), family, fun and entertainment (Disney) or the Volkswagen lifestyle.
3. You’ve got to be relevant to consumers, even if you don’t sell directly to consumers – It is no surprise the big winners on this list are consumer brands, but it isn’t a requirement. Intel, No. 9 on the list, doesn’t sell anything to consumer directly. But they’ve done a great job making “Intel Inside” relevant to an audience far beyond the decision maker at Dell, for example.
The Reputation Institute also points out a key fact – the leaders on this list don’t treat Reputation as a brand imperative – they treat it as a business imperative – ingrained into their policies, business practices and operations.
PR firm’s reputation at risk from HP’s CEO fiasco
August 10, 2010
The New York Times reported today that APCO, a well-respected PR firm, advised HP’s board to get ahead of potential leaks associated with the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by then-CEO Hurd.
The board took the advice, disclosing the unsupported allegations. Hurd resigned later that week – not due to the sexual allegations, but because he admitted to falsifying travel expense reports.
But I digress. Let’s look at APCO’s role here. APCO seemed to follow the crisis playbook – be proactive, be open and provide full disclosure. So far, so good. But if they made a mistake – and you could make a strong argument that they didn’t – perhaps it was to counsel their client to move quickly without all the facts in hand.
Now APCO’s reputation is getting bruised by a variety of media outlets, including the Times, which concluded its story today by reporting that APCO “does not have a particularly strong reputation for crisis management or technology expertise” despite advising corporate icons such as Microsoft, Intel and yes, HP, on such matters.