Tullow Opens Up in Coup for Transparency Advocates


There was a groundbreaking moment this week as Tullow Oil, a London-based, Africa-focused company, disclosed the payments it makes to foreign governments.

In doing so, Tullow, a major player in the push for oil in Uganda, became a pioneer. It is the first oil or mining company to report such payments at a project-by-project level.

As The Wall Street Journal’s Samuel Rubenfeld explains, Tullow laid out what it paid in taxes, license fees, infrastructure improvements and bonuses, as well as voluntary disclosures it made such as the amounts in value-added and withholding taxes it paid per project.

This is the first fruit of a European Union directive approved in June 2013 that echoed and in some cases went further than the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act. All 28 EU member states are required to have project-level disclosure legislation in place by July 2015, so Tullow’s move puts it ahead of the game.

For activist groups such as Global Witness, Tullow’s disclosure puts pressure on its peers and “blows a hole in the argument made by some oil companies that project-level reporting will impose a heavy burden on business.”

You Want Human Rights With That? McDonald’s Serves Up Due Diligence on Human Rights

By Amol Mehra, Esq., and Nicole Santiago

Shareholders are using their voting power to join the movement for corporate accountability and the most recent company to serve up policies and practices on human rights in its operations may be just around the block.

In January, McDonald’s Corporation released its Report of the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors of McDonald’s Corporation in response to a shareholder proposal that McDonald’s explain its processes for identifying and analyzing human rights risks related to the company’s operations, products and supply chain. In corporate social responsibility (CSR) terms, shareholders demanded that McDonald’s prove that they conduct human rights due diligence. Referencing international human rights instruments, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the report outlines how McDonald’s specifically identifies and assesses human rights risks in its operations as part of its broader enterprise risk management process.

See article here

Ranking America’s Biggest Brands on Their Commitment to Deforestation-Free Palm Oil

News story here with access to full report and methodological notes.

The In-Your-Face, Results-Focused, No-“Kumbaya” Guide to Social Media for Business!

  •  Detailed techniques for increasing sales, profits, market share, and efficiency
  • Specific solutions for brand-building, customer service, R&D, and reputation management
  • Facts, statistics, real-world case studies, and rock-solid metrics

Stop hiding from social media–or treating it as if it’s a playground. Start using it strategically. Identify specific, actionable goals. Apply business discipline and proven best practices. Stop fearing risks. Start mitigating them. Measure performance. Get results. You can. This book shows you how.

Jason Falls and Erik Deckers serve up practical social media techniques and metrics for building brands, strengthening awareness, improving service, optimizing R&D, driving better leads–and closing more sales.

“Conversations” and “communities” are wonderful, but they’re not enough. Get this book and get what you really want from social media: profits.

Think social media’s a passing fad? Too risky? Just a toy? Too soft and fuzzy? Not for your business? Wake up! It’s where your customers are. And it ain’t going away. Does that suck? No. It doesn’t. Do social media right, and all those great business buzzwords come true.Actionable. Measurable. And…wait for it…here comes the big one. Profitable. Damn profitable.

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One more thing. We know what scares you about social media. Screwing up (a.k.a., your mug on the front page of The Wall Street Journal). So we’ll tell you what to do so that won’t happen. Ever. No B.S. in this book. Just facts. Metrics. Best practices. Stuff to warm the hearts of your CFO, CEO, all your C-whatevers. And, yeah, you. So get your head out from under the pillow. Get your butt in gear. Let’s go make some money.

This case study is about how Greenpeace used social media to foster change in Nestlé SA (Nestlé). Experts felt that the environmental protection group made clever use of social media and direct action against the European food processing giant. The campaign proved to have high impact, forcing Nestlé to clarify its stance on palm oil and create a timetable for cleaning up its palm oil supply chain. This case is meant for MBA/ MS students as a part of their IT & Systems/ Organizational Behavior curriculum. It can also be used in Marketing Management curriculum.

Traces the history of IKEA’s response to a TV report that its Indian carpet suppliers were using child labor. Describes IKEA’s growth, including the importance of a sourcing strategy based on its close relationships with suppliers in developing countries. Details the development of IKEA’s strong culture and values that include a commitment “to create a better everyday life for many people.” Describes how, in response to regulatory and public pressure, IKEA developed a set of environmental policies that grew to encompass a relationship with Greenpeace and WWF on forest management and conservation. Then, in 1994, Marianne Barner, a newly appointed IKEA product manager, is surprised by a Swedish television documentary on the use of child labor by Indian carpet suppliers, including some that supply IKEA’s rugs. She immediately implements a strict policy that provides for contract cancellation if any IKEA supplier uses child labor. Then Barner is confronted by a German TV producer who advises her that he is about to broadcast an investigative program documenting the use of child labor in one of the company’s major suppliers. How should she react to the crisis? How should the company deal with the ongoing issue of child labor in the supply chain?

Access from HBS here

Virtually every action, message, and decision of a military force shapes the opinions of an indigenous population: strategic communication, treatment of civilians at vehicle checkpoints, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of aerial bombardment. Themes of U.S. goodwill mean little if its actions convey otherwise. Consequently, a unified message in both word and deed is fundamental to success. Business marketing practices provide a useful framework for improving U.S. military efforts to shape the attitudes and behaviors of local populations in a theater of operations as well as those of a broader, international audience. Enlisting Madison Avenue extracts lessons from these business practices and adapts them to U.S. military efforts, developing a unique approach to shaping that has the potential to improve military-civilian relations, the accuracy of media coverage of operations, communication of U.S. and coalition objectives, and the reputation of U.S. forces in theater and internationally. Foremost among these lessons are the concepts of branding, customer satisfaction, and segmentation of the target audience, all of which serve to maximize the impact and improve the outcome of U.S. shaping efforts.

Access RAND press release, research brief, or full report

Playmaker Systems, based in Bethesda, MD, is an innovator in the industries of communicationssocial mediamarketingsalespolitics and military information operations.  With our patented decision systems and applications, we help professionals analyze and anticipate the moves of their marketplaces for increased command-and-control and faster time-to-influence.

Our standard-setting Playcaller™ Influence Decision App,Social Play Tracker™, Play Action Map™, Playmaker Academy™, Playmaker Wargame™ and other services are based on The Standard Table of Influence™.  First described in 2006 by CEO and Founder Alan Kelly in his landmark book, The Elements of Influence (Dutton/Plume), it is the centerpiece of the first, definitive ontology of strategies in business, government and society.

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The Father of Spin is the first full-length biography of the legendary Edward L. Bernays, who, beginning in the 1920s, was one of the first and most successful practioners of the art of public relations. In this engrossing biography, Larry Tye uses Bernays’s life as a prism to understand the evolution of the craft of public relations and how it came to play such a critical-and sometimes insidious-role in American life.

Drawing on interviews with primary sources and voluminous private papers, Tye presents a fascinating and revealing portrait of the man who, more than any other, defined and personified public relations, a profession that today helps shape our political discourse and define our commercial choices.

BBC Documentary “The Century of Self”

How Stuff Works: “Cigarettes & Sufragettes” and “How to Sell a War” (with ads)

Free downloads of Edward Bernays “Propaganda” “Engineering of Consent

NPR Interviews

Museum of Public Relations Online Exhibit

Amazon pages for “Public Relations

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