Companies like Nike and Ben & Jerry’s have demonstrated the power of brand activism in marketing. With consumer expectations shifting in a tumultuous political environment, what happens when a brand decides to take a neutral approach? Online home furnishing company Wayfair is right now finding out the hard way.
If “purpose” is to last as one of PR’s top buzzwords, brands need to step up their game. Already in the past few weeks we’ve seen Nike forced to adjust its purpose concerning treatment of pregnant spokespeople. Now Google, which espouses free speech, among other lofty values, is warning staff there will be repercussions should they protest as Google employees during this weekend’s Pride festivities in San Francisco. Apparently for Google, free speech has its limits.
Taking a stand or promoting a cause is important for brands, which want to identify with their target audience and its beliefs. Unfortunately, some brands view events such as Pride month or International Women’s Day purely as profit-making opportunities. Here are three tips brands need to embrace so they can be seen as promoting activism not slacktivism.
Operating with purpose must be the lens through which every business decision is made, argues WE’s global CEO and founder Melissa Waggener Zorkin. While sticking to your values isn’t easy, the consequences of ignoring today’s societal issues are much greater. She offers highlights from recent research about purpose that aim to help communicators and leaders.
The opioid epidemic has touched one in three Americans, a new survey from NPR and Ipsos shows. In addition, pharma’s narrative about its role in the epidemic has failed to resonate with a significant majority of the American public. What steps should industry communicators take to rehabilitate pharma’s reputation with the public? Crisis communications provides a possible option.
There’s more research showing CSR is no longer a nice-to-have, writes Judith Rowland of FleishmanHillard. Consumers expect brands to take stands on social issues or risk losing their business. And brands must walk the walk. The research found that 47 percent of engaged customers are less or not at all likely to purchase from companies whose business practices are inconsistent with their CSR promises.
A case study about CSR illustrates the importance of communicating your CSR work both externally and internally.
With PR News’ CSR and Nonprofit Awards luncheon coming March 15, we look at two brands taking stands, though they do so with different philosophies and strategies.
This week Gillette launched “We Believe,” a timely screed against toxic masculinity that updates its decades-old tagline to “The Best Men Can Be.” Its former tagline is reframed as a question: “Is this the best a man can get?” With more than 4 million views already, the ad has audiences divided on whether or not the campaign is a genuine push for social good, an opportunistic rebranding, or both.
On Nov. 28, Patagonia CEO Rose Mercario announced in a LinkedIn post that the company would be putting $10 million—the amount it received in tax returns following Trump administration tax cuts—toward alleviating the harmful effects of “human-caused climate disruption.” Here are some lessons learned from Patagonia’s initiative.