INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD EDELMAN. 4 He regarded public relations as a higher form of communications than THE RELATIONSHIP IMPERATIVE. In his article, “The Relationship Imperative” (), Richard Edelman points out that consumers are no longer passive, as has been the assumption of. benefits internally of meaningful and lasting stakeholder relationships. Richard Edelman, who was inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society as we work toward the development of an imperative Page report on the topic.
The fact that this consultancy addresses issues such as the make-up of the board, which more usually tend to remain the province of related professions, is indicative of the fact that Edelman currently perceives in the corporate arena both an opportunity and a threat.
Are we just the press release distributors for lawyers? Isn't this a call to action? We are supposed to be the corporate conscience and we have to get involved in counselling,' he says.
The Trust Imperative
There is no doubt that Breedon's involvement will help Edelman gain credibility in this arena. The client list, inevitably, is confidential, but Edelman says the aim is to work with firms and give advice on areas they should be looking at such as expressing of stock options, and reporting.
For CEOs the faster it is over the better. The annual report can be a beautiful sales product, with CEOs keen to emphasis the good and rationalise the bad.
- Analysis: 'Father of modern media relations'
- Thoughts on our 2014 Page Annual Conference
- Edelman loses executives and clients over climate change stance
We can't have that anymore,' he says. Edelman, like many, voices concern that the current wave of corporate scandals represents only the tip of the iceberg, and sees further investigations as chance for 'PR to get closer to the action and not just leave it to consultants, auditors and lawyers'.
According to Edelman, the opportunities for thought leadership do not only lie in the corporate arena.
The original Daniel Edelman Public Relations was built on consumer marketing. The agency's first client was the Toni Company, inventors of the 'wave kit' for home perming, and Edelman is widely regarded as the man who invented the media tour with the breakthrough s 'Which Twin has the Toni?
Consumer work still accounts for two thirds of Edelman's business, and Edelman still sees the area as the industry's great white hope. In an age of suspicion of big business, a robust and authentic corporate character is more important than ever.
Thoughts on our Page Annual Conference | Arthur W. Page Society
It's not what you sell, it's what you believe and act on. Collaborate to create an enterprise-wide commitment. Our opening panellists commented that although the whole enterprise needs to live its corporate character, the CCO needs to instill it, and to promote the benefits internally of meaningful and lasting stakeholder relationships. Dave Samson of Chevron pointed out that C-Suites are very quick to see the importance of this thinking, once they realize that one stakeholder blog post has the potential power to shut down a multibillion dollar enterprise.
Joe Stunkard of IBM took us through its data-driven influencer engagement strategy, a disciplined and systematic approach, leveraging data analytics and new technology to help advance IBM's growth in its strategic markets. This data will help engender a top-down focus on stakeholder engagement.
Empower and enlist employees to build belief externally. Corey duBrowa outlined the degrees to which Starbucks goes not only in making sure their employees or "partners" are advocating for Starbucks, but that Starbucks is advocating for them as well. Develop lasting partnerships with stakeholders.
We were treated to a fantastic dialogue on how stakeholder engagement enabled the merger between US Airways and American Airlines. Panelists including American Airlines CEO Doug Parker explained how the deep relationships forged with stakeholders, some of whom were included on the panel, "cleared the runway" for the merger to take place. Recognize that scale varies. Where stakeholders are concerned,value is what matters, not volume.
Analysis: 'Father of modern media relations' | PR Week
Enterprises need to explore and understand the value of each stakeholder, one at a time, be they governors, employees, NGOs or reporters. At the Annual Conference, we heard from them all. Be committed for the long term. Stakeholders need to be convinced that they can rely on the enterprise over time.