At the beginning of the year, McKinsey&Company released the findings of their latest survey on gender and workplace diversity. You already know how seriously interested I am in this topic. My contribution towards tackling the gender inequality issue in the workforce is speaking up by blogging and sharing such research with as many people as possible. Advancing the conversation about this global problem is the only way to solve it.
McKinsey found that even though companies have implemented some measures to improve gender diversity, significant progress hasn’t yet been made. Corporate culture remains a critical factor that either supports or hinders that progress.
According to the research results, even if females are ambitious and strive to become top managers knowing they have the abilities and skills to do so, they are not convinced that their company’s culture will actually support their rise. I believe this is a serious barrier against tackling one of the major challenges for businesses and economies, as identified this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Companies and their leaders should instead be encouraging female ambition and growth, not stopping or undermining it. Continue Reading »
With the massive embracement of social and web applications, the arsenal of tools and techniques PR professionals are required to use in their work is constantly growing. However, the overall purpose of these activities remains the same: In my latest article for Behind the Spin I note that PR is about influencing audiences and adding value. Influencing audiences has a lot to do with persuasion.
Important to note here is that persuasion is very different from manipulation. Persuasion, unlike manipulation, is not spin. Many think of PR as spin, but that’s just not what PR aims to achieve. Communicators’ purpose it to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between clients and their publics by building and defending reputations. That includes among other things engaging with audiences, talking to and most importantly with various publics, making use of a wide range of tools to communicate a message in the most suitable way – text, audio, images, video.
PR people aim to convey a message, a message that gets heard and understood, that moves people to undertake a specific action after receiving that message. This makes everything we do about persuasion – writing is about persuasion, storytelling is about persuasion, social media sharing is about persuasion.
Persuasion is indeed an art, but it can also become a skill, an ability that is very important for PR professionals. To develop that know-how Continue Reading »
This year international business and political leaders met again at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to discuss politics, economics and social issues as well as trends and solutions for future transformation. At my agency Brandzeichen, which is part of the Ketchum network, I recently had the pleasure of listening to a very insightful webinar about the key topics of the WEF. The webinar was held by Rob Flaherty, CEO of Ketchum, and Barri Rafferty, CEO for North America at Ketchum.
While listening I wrote down a few things that got my attention – these impressions are what I want to share with you today, after having done some additional research.
The following eight key areas were the focus of the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos.
#1 Youth unemployment
According to the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, youth unemployment is Europe’s “single biggest crisis”. Why? Because 1 in 4 youth are unemployed. That’s a scary number!
Noticeable trends towards solving this problem are the transition back to vocational studies, increased opportunities to work from home and entrepreneurism. Literacy is key to end extreme income divide and poverty.
The major players to help tackle this issue are business, government and civil society – or the Golden Triangle. Continue Reading »
Today people increasingly demand corporate responsibility and social consciousness from brands to strike the triple bottom line balance: 69% of respondents in a research by Havas say they expect enterprises to make the world a better place. For the first time ever though, these expectations are becoming a “license to lead” with businesses now being more trusted than governments to make a real positive change towards a sustainable future. Such is the major finding of this year’s Edelman Trust Barometer.
In its 14th annual survey in 27 countries among 33,000 respondents, Edelman found that there is a global gap of 14% between trust in business and trust in government. This number has never been so high before. Business has been consistently trusted more than government over the past years: People now expect businesses to lead on social change, not governments.
Nevertheless, half of respondents believe that the most important role of government in business is to protect consumers from irresponsible businesses as well as regulate those. On the other hand, over 70% of people agree that policymakers should be consulting with multiple stakeholders when developing regulations on business and industries. Businesses should therefore “foster an informed conversation that provides the context necessary to create regulation that is relevant and as effective in its ability to protect as it is in its ability to move society and business forward.”
As it turns out, in 2014 business will be required to lead the debate for change. That’s quite the shift considering Continue Reading »