New Media and CSR: Communicating Corporate Good
Since the early days of philanthropy, companies have sought to communicate their corporate social responsibility and sustainability accomplishments. Too often these communications are the staid stacks of paper that no one reads, or worse, the banal press release that falls on indifferent ears.
But, going hand in hand with the rise of more sustainable thinking, some innovative companies have learned to use interactive media to make their CSR communications come alive: Two-way communications, transparent supply chain tools, c-suite twittering, online video and social media. Understanding the power of these technologies in a corporate setting leads not only to better communication, but a more powerful, authentic brand to prosper behind.
Let's learn from the companies and professionals making it happen.
Director of Corporate Consciousness, Seventh Generation
Chris Miller is Director of Corporate Consciousness for Seventh Generation, which produces safe and environmentally responsible products for a healthy home. Miller works across the company to develop and implement strategies for sustainability. His responsibility includes mission-related stakeholder engagement, development of a robust companywide climate and energy plan and developing strategic values-led partnerships with NGOs. Before joining Seventh Generation, Miller spent five years directing Greenpeace's Climate Change Campaign. He also spent six years working with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry's, on their issue advocacy campaigns. Miller began his career on the Washington, D.C., staff of then-Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Christine Diamente is Director Corporate Responsibility at Alcatel-Lucent leading the company’s global sustainability, corporate citizenship and philanthropy activities (more on www.alcatel-lucent.com/corporate-responsiblity).
Prior to assuming this role in February 2011, Christine served for two years as Director Corporate Relations, where she built and led Alcatel-Lucent's global activities with the World Economic Forum (WEF) as part of the company’s Press and Communications group including Sherpa to management leaders, end-to-end customer and media relations. In particular, she developed the company’s innovative thought-leadership during WEF events using blogs, twitter, video and other multimedia platforms. Alcatel-Lucent leaders have consistently been WEF guest bloggers and active tweeters during WEF events including at the Annual Meeting in Davos (more on www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog).
Previously for almost eight years Christine was Director European Affairs where she led Alcatel-Lucent's corporate representation with European institutions at the highest levels including playing a leadership role in relevant European associations, leading task forces with EU institutions. She was also a member of Alcatel-Lucent's integration team in Public Affairs, elected Board Member of European Internet Foundation (2004-2008), elected Vice Chair of Digital Europe Policy Group (2004-2008), a member of the European Commission Task Force on Innovation, Sherpa to CEO and CTO in EU Brussels Round Table, and a Member of European Ideas Network.
Christine started her career in telecommunications in 1996 in Canada. She graduated with a Master's in the History of Technology and International Relations and a B.A. in International Politics and History from the University of Ottawa. She also completed the Management Acceleration Programme at INSEAD Business School in France.
A firm believer in sustainability, Christine runs a virtual office from the UK where she interacts with her team and company experts across the world in real-time. She is also a Trustee of the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation.
A seasoned writer, producer and creative strategist, Mitch Baranowski co-founded BBMG in 2003 with longtime friend Raphael Bemporad to help clients reach, engage and inspire the conscious consumer. As Chief Creative Officer, he has overall responsibility for the brand innovation firm’s creative direction.
An expert in using branding and sustainable innovation to drive shared value, Mitch has developed creative solutions for a range of F500 companies (Brown-Forman, Walmart, Samsung), pioneering green brands (Seventh Generation, Clif Bar, Earthbound Farms) and emerging social enterprises (Getaround, Madecasse Chocolate, Roadmonkey).
Prior to BBMG, Mitch served as managing director of public affairs for Burson-Marsteller, where his clients included Orbitz and American Airlines, and as vice president of corporate affairs for Edelman Public Relations.
Mitch received his MA in Radio-TV-Film and Bachelor of Journalism with honors from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Nick Aster is the founder of TriplePundit.com, one of the world's most read websites on responsible business. He is a New Media Architect specializing in using online technology to advance conversations on sustainability. He most recently worked for Mother Jones magazine to help relaunch the magazine's online presence. He has also worked with companies like Nike, SAP, Gawker Media, Offermatica, and many others on internal and external strategies for communication.
With a great deal of interest in environmental matters he worked for many years on TreeHugger.com, the most popular environmental website in the world. Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.