Truth, Trust and Transparency

Posted on November 12, 2010 
Filed Under General

Last night I attended the Institute for PR’s Distinguished Lecture event in midtown Manhattan. A lot of PR luminaries were there, and I have to say it was pretty inspiring to mingle with some brilliant communications minds. The guest lecturer, Bill Margaritis, senior VP of global communications and investor relations at FedEx, spoke on the chief communicator’s unique abilities to “see companies from all angles, which uniquely qualifies us to lead this transition back toward truth, trust, and transparency.” He also said this: “We must teach and empower even junior communicators to respectfully question and probe business practices, standards, and proposed actions with their business-side counterparts.” (here’s the full transcript).

Prior to Margaritis’ speech, Margery Kraus, president and CEO of Apco Worldwide, received the Alexander Hamilton Medal. In her acceptance speech, Kraus called on communicators to “build on values and nuture and protect opportunities.” Then, this morning on the train, I read a disturbing page one story in the NY Times. The Chinese government appears to be throwing “troublemakers” into their psychiatric hospitals—people with no mental health problems who are subjected to shock treatments and drug therapies for years. I got to thinking, if communications can build on values and establish truth, trust and transparency in Corporate America, could it and should it be doing more to fight injustice around the world? What do you think?

–Scott Van Camp

Comments

  • Chris Meinhart

    Sometimes words are all we have. They create a presence telling others, “we are watching.” Studies bear out that behavior changes when someone is observing.

    Look around your desk or at your home and turn things over to read the ever present “made in China”. It’s overwhelming to acknowledge the sheer volume of items bearing these words. We have well-established business relationships with China. Perhaps through the many positive relationships in the business world we can address these serious human rights issues mentioned in the NY Times article. An increasing number of consumers and companies do care about the actions of the country were things are made.

  • Chris Meinhart

    Sometimes words are all we have. They create a presence telling others, “we are watching.” Studies bear out that behavior changes when someone is watching. Look around your desk or at your home and turn things over to read the ever present “made in China”. It’s overwhelming to acknowledge the sheer volume of items bearing these words. We have well-established business relationships with China. Perhaps through the many positive relationships in the business world we can address these serious human rights issues mentioned in the NY Times article. An increasing number of consumers and companies do care about the actions of the country were things are made

  • PR broadcast

    Definitely! But this is supposed to be the key mission of journalists. Communication professionals could follow by supporting this mission.

    But unfortunately, most of the times people are much more interested on what is going on around them and not around the world. Till they feel the danger close to them, they are quit apathetic. Only activists and determined, conscious world-citizens spend their “valuable” time on issues that do not directly affect their everyday lives.

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