Nestlé proves CSR can give your company a “Good Life”

Have you ever wondered where your coffee comes from? (Picture courtesy of Nestlé)

Have you ever wondered where your coffee comes from? (Picture courtesy of Nestlé)

Have you noticed that more and more people seem to be walking around carrying cups of coffee in their hands? Whether they’ve stopped by Starbucks, their local cafe or have made it at home, coffee cups seem to have become the ultimate accessory for both men and women.

I don’t know whether this is due to the fact that people lead such hectic lives that they just don’t have time to sit down for their coffee, or whether they are drinking more of it than they used to. What statistics do show, however, is that there is a good chance that the coffee they’re drinking is made by Nestlé, as 5,500 cups of Nescafé alone are drunk every second.

As the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company, Nestlé’s motto of “Good Food, Good Life” has lead them to be one of the world’s most profitable corporations. However, things weren’t always so good. Continue reading

Behold: the great and powerful lobbyist!

"The Great and Powerful Oz" (2013) shows what a great PR Oz might have been.

“Oz, The Great and Powerful” (2013) shows what a great PR Oz might have been.

The other day I went to the cinema and saw “Oz, The Great and Powerful” which, by the way, I highly recommend.  It tells the story of how an average small town magician becomes the mysterious, slightly frightening Wizard of Oz who is feared and admired at the same time.

It occurred to me while watching the movie that Oz would have been a great lobbyist. He works behind closed doors; he uses obscure tricks to get his way; and influences people to do his bidding. The aura of mystery that surrounds him is very much like that which envelopes lobbyists, who are perceived to be a kind of sinister magicians themselves, strategically and invisibly influencing the powers that be and ultimately society as a whole. What is really frightening is that they walk and live among us… and many times we don’t even know who they are. Continue reading

Debate about ethical PR. Leave your boxing gloves at home, please!

Is there such a thing as ethical PR?

Is there such a thing as ethical PR?

I recently took part in a debate titled “The Only way to practice ethical PR is to work for the not for profit sector. Everything else is just corporate, political or consumer propaganda”. No doubt about it: this is quite a radical statement. As luck would have it, two colleagues and I wound up defending it…reluctantly, I might add. No self-respecting PR practitioner would agree with such a thing. Or would they?

Please note that we started off by having a show of hands which quickly showed none of the attendees were on our side and that we actually managed to come up with some pretty convincing arguments. Would we manage to convince anyone to support us?  Continue reading

Where is Jiminy Cricket?

"Let your conscience be your guide" (Jiminy Cricket, 1940)

“Let your conscience be your guide” (Jiminy Cricket, 1940)

One of the first things that we’re taught as PR practitioners is that we must conduct ourselves as ethically as possible, especially considering that we’re expected to be the moral conscience of the organizations we work for. This would be a lot easier if we, like Pinocchio, had Jiminy Cricket on our shoulder telling us what to do all the time. But instead of him we have codes of conduct which establish a series of norms designed to guide the manner in which we carry out our work. The question is: How effective are they and how can ethical behaviour among practitioners be encouraged? Continue reading