Posts Tagged 'corporate communication'

Building a Corporate Conscience

By Meghan O’Leary

Panel discussion at the Corporate Communication Commons event, April 20, 2012

Panel discussion at the Corporate Communication Commons event, April 20, 2012. Photo: Wakerly Technology Training Center.

This past April, Marquette University and the Diederich College welcomed over 50 corporate communication professionals as we hosted the first ever Corporate Communication Commons event on campus. The conference, entitled Building a Corporate Conscience, examined one of the most pressing issues in today’s corporate world: the lack of public trust in corporations.

Speakers included Richard Edelman (Edelman PR), Jon Iwata (IBM), Kimberley Goode (Northwestern Mutual), Katerina Tsetsura (University of Oklahoma), Roger Bolton (Arthur Page Society), Scott D’Urso (Marquette University), Tom Beall and Bess Bezirgan (both with Ogilvy Public Relations).

The event kicked off on the evening of Thursday, April 19 with a student networking session led by Diederich College faculty member Jeremy Fyke. During the session,  students had the opportunity to discuss topics such as career/college challenges and community involvement with corporate communication professionals. Afterward, the conference participants visited the jPad student lounge for an opening reception. Dean Lori Bergen welcomed the participants to the conference, and Associate Professor Sarah Feldner introduced the purpose of gathering a group of peers to discuss the common issues faced in the field of corporate communication.

On Friday, the day began with a breakfast keynote by Richard Edelman, who reflected on the need for communications professionals to become the conscience of their organizations. The message was that if people in this role are willing to actually advise the executives, they have the power to truly change organizations from within and win back public trust.

This message set the tone for the rest of the day’s presentations, and was also echoed in the words of other speakers. Kimberley Goode used Northwestern Mutual as example of how a company can thrive if it has a commitment to values and trust. In contrast, Roger Bolton mentioned Aetna as example of both what to do and what not to when trying to create a successful and trusted organization.

Other topics that emerged throughout the day included the need for corporate transparency, the use of social media, and developing a new communication model for organizations. The use of social media was a salient topic as many of the participants were tweeting throughout the day, using the #mucommons hashtag. The event concluded with “Diederich Ideas, a 30-mintue program featuring a panel discussion with the participants about the future of corporate communication.

View photos from the event on our Flickr gallery

 Meghan O’Leary is a student in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University.

Is Negative PR Bad for Business?

By Sarah Bonewits-Feldner and Tom Isaacson

For practitioners working in corporate communication and public relations, an ongoing concern is the impact of negative publicity on relevant target audiences. The old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” – frequently cited by business journalists and alternately credited to either P. T. Barnum or an ambiguous “they” – deserves a closer look.

Unequal, a sport-equipment manufacturer, recently decided to use the controversial Michael Vick to promote its products. In a story described in the Wall Street Journal, company executives and consultants debated if the move would help the relatively unknown company or if it would be ‘business suicide.’ Apparently, it was the former.

According to the article’s author, Lee Hawkins, after the endorsement deal was announced the high number of hits on Unequal’s website crashed the site and sales initially went up 1,000 percent before settling “at about triple what they were a year ago.”

However, we know a single example rarely settles an argument. For every organization that benefits from negative publicity, counter examples exist as well. Continue reading ‘Is Negative PR Bad for Business?’

The Importance of Social Media Trends in Corporate Communication

By Lauren Haberkorn

Dr. Scott D’Urso, an assistant professor here at the Diedrich College of Communication, has integrated the importance of social media into our class this semester, “Issues in Corporate Communication.”

It was a subject that my peers and I did not expect social media to be of such importance in the corporate communication field. Whether we’ve undermined its importance or have found social media to already be such a big part of our lives, we did not realize how great of an impact it has on our lives today, how fast it is growing, and how important it will be in the future in both our personal lives and our careers.

In fact, Dr. D’Urso was recently interviewed by the local ABC News affiliate WISN 12 regarding the effect of social media on families and relationships. As his students, we are fortunate enough to receive a wealth of information regarding social media from Dr. D’Urso three times each week. Many textbooks are only updated once a year, and as many already know, social media and the internet are updated with information and changing consistently every second of every day. For corporate communication majors, this means that many of us will be part of a communications team for a large company and it will be our responsibility to manage the company’s reputation that can be so easily praised or ridiculed with the use of social media by people all over the world. Continue reading ‘The Importance of Social Media Trends in Corporate Communication’


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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