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How to succeed at sustainability (and avoid greenwashing and ‘greenblushing’)

For the most part, I agree with the author of this September 15, 2016 Forbes article (“How to Succeed at Sustainability (And Why Greenwashing Doesn’t Work)”): Greenwashing is a very bad thing and, when it happens, the offending organizations should be seriously taken to task and compelled to address their mistakes. But I respectfully and strongly disagree with this statement from the author, Pascual Berrone, an IESE professor and author of Green Lies: "Only once you have established and genuine green initiatives in place, should you start drawing attention to your activities."

The fact is there is a lot to be gained from communicating during "the journey." Sure, it has to be accurate, honest, transparent, and not boastful, but it helps the organization to be…

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Social media apps and your IR team

Social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook and LinkedIn keep us connected to friends, family and colleagues far more now than ever before. But what about connecting with financial stakeholders?

I was recently asked to share my thoughts with IR Magazine on the use of these apps in the IR space. While the adoption of apps, such as WeChat, has become more common in Asia the concept has not quite caught on in the U.S.

Here are a few reasons why, as well as things to consider when researching a social media app for your IR team:

  • The culture of your team: The use of apps is very intuitive to millennials, but that may not be the case for other generations. Consider who will be using the app and how to most effectively engage your team.
  • Security of the platform: While…
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B2B or not B2B: Should your B2B brand consider influencer marketing?

If you’re a marketer or communicator at a B2B organization, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “influencer marketing” but may not have investigated it – or even considered it – for your business. In its simplest form, influencer marketing is about using a small group of people with a wide and established network to spread your story for you. Many consumer brands have embraced this concept, but B2B companies have been slow to adopt.

In an era of continuous partial attention, should your B2B brand consider influencer marketing as part of its marketing mix? I’m not here to make that decision for you (though if you’d like to start a conversation, I’m always happy to chat). But I would offer these three considerations as you contemplate whether influencer marketing is…

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Engagement is a process, not an event – Part 3 of 3

This is the third of a three-part series on board engagement. This post is written from the investor’s perspective.

Glenn Booraem is a Principal of the Vanguard Group, Inc. and the Treasurer of each of the Vanguard Funds. He has worked for Vanguard since 1989 and currently oversees the firm's corporate governance program, covering more than $2 trillion in equity market value. He is a frequent speaker on governance to industry groups and has served on the New York Stock Exchange’s Proxy Working Group and Commission on Corporate Governance.

Calls for better communication between companies and their increasingly institutional owners are nothing new. Corporate governance veterans Kayla Gillan and Rich Koppes (then at the California Public Employees Retirement System)…

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Why are some boards still reluctant to communicate with investors? – Part 2 of 3

This is the second of a three-part series on board engagement. This post is written from the perspective of a public company board member.

Gina France is President and CEO of France Strategic Partners LLC, which provides strategy and transaction advisory services and special project consulting to corporations. She has over 30 years of strategy, investment banking and corporate finance experience and is a 15-year veteran of Wall Street.  She serves on the boards of several public companies, including CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), Cedar Fair L.P. (NYSE: FUN), and FirstMerit Corporation (Nasdaq: FMER). 

Clearly, most boards take their fiduciary duties very seriously, understanding that they are accountable to shareholders and responsible for increasing shareholder value.…

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