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Vanguard’s 3 emerging board themes: engagement, diversity and sustainability

The Vanguard Group, the ultimate long-term investment firm, has set clear, aggressive expectations for public companies that want its support during the 2018 proxy season and beyond. In its August 31, 2017, “open letter to directors of public companies worldwide,” Vanguard Chairman and CEO F. William McNabb III identified three emerging themes that should get the attention of just about every public company:

  1. Good governance starts with a great board,” he wrote, and boards should be “high-functioning, well-composed, independent, diverse and experienced.” He said Vanguard sees the board as “one of a company’s most critical strategic assets” and “there is a growing role for independent directors in engagement” with shareholders.
  2. Gender diversity on the Board is…
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Trump, GOP love tax cuts, but this isn’t 1986

If you are hoping tax reform legislation will salvage the Trump administration’s agenda and support another stock market run-up, don’t count on it. Amidst internal dissension and growing concern that now is not the time for tax cuts, the administration and congressional Republicans are struggling to shape a bill that can garner enough votes—and the president’s approval.

After the failure to repeal Obamacare, Republicans see tax reform as the only route to a major legislative victory this year. Cutting taxes, after all, is what Republicans believe they do best. But this could end up like the failed repeal all over again—patching pieces together to find something that will pass that doesn’t really address the underlying problems.

As CNBC commentator Ron Insana wrote…

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Why social media listening matters

Did you know 75 percent of organizations don’t know where or how their key audiences are talking about them? That’s kind of a shocking number when you think about how many people use social media – 69 percent of Americans according to Pew Research Center – and when you realize less than 10 percent of tweets directly mention a brand.

To help companies know what conversations are out there, more marketers are turning to social media listening.

Before we get into why it matters, let’s back up and discuss what social media listening is. According to Sprout Social, social listening involves “tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.”

What’s important to…

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Accelerate your digital communications by putting your audience first

I’d like to begin a conversation with you. A conversation about change. About letting go of the past. About how we as communications professionals can communicate better with our collective audiences. About looking to the future.

You may be asking why I want to have this conversation. I believe in possibilities and finding new ways to work and communicate. I believe in developing new ideas and putting them into action. Trying. Testing. Failing. Learning. Growing!

I believe we can’t continue to work and communicate as we have for the last 20-30 years. Consumer and customer communication behaviors have changed in profound ways, but business communications have struggled to keep up with the trends.

Let’s go back in time for a moment and consider some of these…

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