Online bullying – Sony feels the pain of personal (cyber) attacks

Unlike many cybersecurity incidents in recent months, the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment was grounded in something other than stealing money or customer credit information. Instead, it seems these hackers are mostly interested in making Sony look bad, and boy are they doing a good job of it.

Leaked emails of executives mocking celebrities’ egos or offering racially tinged exchanges about President Obama’s movie preferences have dominated headlines, and the hackers have promised even more juicy material is to come. Sony had been relatively quiet on the issue other than a few written apologies from executives responsible for questionable email content.

This weekend, however, several media reported receiving a letter from attorney David Boies, a…

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Channel your audience: It’s all about them, not about you

Bill Doll, our first guest blogger, is a D&E alumnus who teaches public speaking at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is the author of  SPEAK, How to Talk to Classmates and Others, recently published by Oxford University Press. It is a brief essentials of public speaking for those of any age short on time but long on performance anxiety.  

Nervous before giving a speech?      

That’s good.  

A little anxiety revs the adrenalin so you’ll focus.

To be a little nervous means you care about this talk. Whether it’s a talk to shareholders, the media, your board of directors or a Senate subcommittee, your nerves are your body telling you this talk is important, not some blow-off moment you can wing your way through. 

There’s an old Broadway saying, “If…

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The 3-Rs of Sustainability Communications

Sustainability has the Three Ps: People, Planet and Profit (or Prosperity).

I’d like to suggest that sustainability communications has Three Rs: Research, Reporting and Reinforcement.

1) Research

Research includes external benchmarking, internal audit of current activities, materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement evaluation.

2) Reporting

The Reporting process includes content and theme brainstorming, content gathering, writing, design, project planning and management, printing and/or programming, and launch – with consideration also given to reporting against current standards and pursuing external assurance. It’s not unusual for the reporting process to take four to six months or more out of every yearly reporting cycle.


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My 5 Keys to ‘Sustaining Sustainability’

It should go without saying that an effective sustainability program and sustainability communications must be durable, resilient and flexible – in other words, sustainable.

But, like any other initiative or program, sustainability programs and projects can get stale, become stagnant or even experience a reversal of progress. Thus, my five keys to “sustaining sustainability”:

1) Balance two essential ingredients (structure and intangibles) 

Programs need both structure (such as policies, guidelines/standards and rules of engagement) and intangibles (such as values, story-telling and daily engagement). Too much of one at the expense of the other will limit long-term impact.

2) Use “events” and milestones to reinvigorate the program 

Doing a report, holding a…

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What do Tim Cook and LeBron James have in common?

Let’s say you’re a CEO and you wish to promote your company, your personal brand or, more altruistically, a cause. What do you do?

In years past, communicators would advise a number of options. One traditional approach: make a donation, issue a media release and call a press conference. Then ask your communication professionals to follow up with calls to reporters to attract further attention. If you were lucky, controversial or both, you got media coverage.

But that communications strategy is so “yesterday.” Today, you have more options. Write a blog post. Record and post a video. Or you can take the path Apple CEO Tim Cook and LeBron James both recently traversed with great skill to accomplish their objectives. First, leverage media relationships to write and…

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