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Our secret to sustainability communications: just ask…

Lundquist CSR Online AwardsIn much of the developed and urban world, digital is making life faster, more interconnected and more data-dependent. Our interactions have become more informal and yet more mediated thanks to the emergence of new communication platforms with their streams, algorithms and networks of connections.

 

What does this trend mean for sustainability and corporate responsibility (CR), concepts that (should) revolve around relations and interactions? How is it changing the way people engage on social, environmental and governance themes?

 

That’s a question we at Lundquist have been asking since 2007 as part of our CSR Online Awards. The 1,600 responses we’ve received over the years have provided illuminating insights. And it’s time to reach out again to all those involved in sustainability – whether professionally or personally – to take the pulse of how engagement is evolving in a digital age.

 

Have your say: join the survey now.

Official video from Lundquist’s European Seminar on Digital Corporate Communications and Webranking Awards

Lundquist European Seminar on Digital Corporate Communications  Milan 3 December 2015_EUWatch the official version of the video from our latest seminar on digital corporate communications , including excerpts from speakers’ presentations.

 

Re-watching these moments always brings a smile to our face. It reminds us of the preparation and reflections shared with the more than 90 companies registered. We want to thank them again for having joined us, and congratulate the Italian best corporate website winners.

 

We heard from Shel Israel, author of “Lethal Generosity”, and a host of other guests such as Jochen Schweitzer (corporate development, strategy and sustainability at Siemens) and Harri Utoslahti (Communications manager at Kesko),  on a number of important themes across digital corporate communications.

 

We hope you enjoy the video.

Germany Inc.’s dilemma in sustainability communications: connecting users (sorry, stakeholders… sorry, people…)

Lundquist - Econsense“Integration” is a word I resist with vehemence, but one I end up using despite myself. Being “integrated” is seemingly a virtue and yet what is actually being integrated with what is normally a mystery. As a piece of business jargon, it’s a ripe candidate for the FT’s Golden Flannel awards.

 

In digital, everything is by nature connected, making it paramount to specify what you think should be integrated: for us at Lundquist, it’s always the “user” (read: “stakeholders”, or read: “audience”, well actually, just read: people).

 

The importance of getting “integration” right when it comes to corporate communications – and sustainability communications in particular – was made evident in meetings with German companies in late 2015. This included a session with two-dozen representatives of Germany Inc. – from Robert Bosch, Bayer and BASF through to VW – under the auspices of Econsense, the country’s forum for sustainable business, which invited Lundquist to talk for a second time about trends in sustainability communications.

Why General Counsel could be critical to integrating your sustainability communications

Sustainability communicationsWhile working on sustainability communications project for a global pharmaceuticals company, I used to laugh how each time we proposed an innovative idea, they client would sigh and say: “I wonder what Barry would say about that”.

 

“Barry” was the person in the legal department whose job it was to vet content. He was seen as a barrier, stifling creativity in the name of compliance.

 

In our experience, this is a common problem and it extends to all the issues that are usually owned by the legal affairs function: corporate governance, (s)election of board members, compliance, remuneration, business conduct. Communication of these topics, especially online, usually is limited to presenting the required documentation using dry, impersonal technical language. Most companies come across as a carbon copy of all the others.

 

A new awareness in legal affairs

 

And yet, general counsels at some companies are starting to challenge this approach, understanding that rules, codes and procedures can only do so much on their own. How you present them has a big impact on behaviours and perceptions, both inside and outside the company. They realise that communications can influence their success in engaging management and employees, suppliers, regulators and business partners, making it an important part of a new skillset.

Swiss companies improving, but none make the European top 10 – Bilanz exclusively covers the 2015-2016 Webranking Switzerland rankings

Bilanz

Swiss business publication Bilanz reports exclusively that while more and more Swiss companies are improving their performance in the Webranking Switzerland 2015 research, no Swiss companies find themselves in the European top 10. Now in its 12th edition, the Swiss ranking is conducted by Lundquist in collaboration with Comprend.

 

Webranking works as a stress test, in that it measures the fundamentals of online corporate and financial communications and dialogue of the largest listed companies, based on stakeholder demands. The research’s objective is to promote a digital culture within companies and help them understand how to meet the growing expectations of stakeholders.

 

Bilanz’s article (in  German) reports that when it comes to their digital corporate communications, Swiss companies are improving.  This year, 36% of Swiss companies pass the test, meaning they achieved 50 points or more (half of the max score), up from 22% in 2014, and 16% in 2013.

© 2015 Lundquist – Partita IVA 05881100969

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