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Corporate Reputation

Target CMO’s Response to Gawker: #PRWin?

Target-Rain

In case you missed it, this week Target‘s CMO Jeff Jones took the (relatively) bold step of responding directly to an anonymous employee’s complaint that scored coverage on Gawker, that bastion of objective reporting on the business world.

He did it in a LinkedIn “influencer” post with the blunt title “The Truth Hurts“, and it got a lot of attention: a quarter of a million views and several thousand likes/shares.

In an interview with AdAge that went live last night, he explained why he decided to address the problem in this way–which gives us an opportunity ask whether the strategy worked.

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These Companies Are the ‘Best Corporate Citizens’

100BestList.pdfWhat exactly makes a company a good “corporate citizen?” In order for Corporate Responsibility Magazine to determine the answer to this question, its research team considers and documents 298 data points pertaining to seven different categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy.

The result is a list of the top 100 corporations that have done the best across the board over the past year. The newly-released 2014 list features the following companies in the top spots:

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GM’s Own Video Claims Its Recalled Cars Are Safe to Drive

Here’s another development in the corporate world’s biggest ongoing damage control campaign: according to GM’s own tests and accompanying video, released this morning on its unfortunately named content site “FastLane”, affected vehicles are totally safe to drive before being repaired…as long as drivers remember a series of dos and don’ts.

Here VP of global vehicle safety Jeff Boyer, who the company named to the newly created position less than two months ago to help manage the crisis, explains:

Looks good, but that was a long list of qualifiers…

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Target Security Scandal Reaches the Top As CEO Steps Down

Target-Rain

Over the weekend, Target finally realized that the only way to present a fresh face to the world after history’s biggest consumer security breach was to go all the way to the top: CEO Gregg Steinhafel officially stepped down this morning.

As the company’s board of directors put it in an official statement:

“…after extensive discussions, the board and…Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target.”

While the decision makes sense, it’s unfortunate to learn that a guy who spent nearly 30 years working his way up the ladder ultimately felt the need to fall on his own sword.

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Target Hopes New Hires and New Card Tech Will Do the Trick

TargetTarget is taking steps to remedy the problem that led to one of history’s biggest data breachesand its team wants you to know.

To its credit, the company seems to have been attacking the problem on all fronts since the breach first occurred last year, and now it’s ready to begin the rollout.

The move comes in stages: last month the company’s VP, who had been in charge of its website and internal computer systems since 2008, “resigned” (quotations ours).

At that time, the company also announced its decision to replace its existing card security tech with a system called “chip and PIN”. Last night brought the official update: Target hired a new chief information officer, who will oversee the implementation of this new security strategy.

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Give ‘Em One Reason to Say No to Trader Joe’s

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Today we bring you a guest post on community relations and corporate reputation by Donnell Alexander, who lives and writes just outside Portland. He is author of the enhanced ebook Beyond Ellis D.

Accumulation from the February snowstorm was still piled around the city when everyone beyond the confines of Northeast Portland learned what had happened. Well, they learned at least a version of what went down.

This winter’s wacky sound-bite narrative of a historically-black Portland neighborhood turning away a Trader Joe’s grocery development because the deal would attract “too many white people” made noises that sounded like the breaking of the Internet. The very idea felt too weird to be true or ignored.

There’s a neighborhood that would oppose a Trader Joe’s? And Portland  has black people?

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Unilever Is Cool with People Mocking Latest Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign

Every brand wants to start a conversation, right? Unilever’s Dove has unquestionably scored one of the biggest media wins in recent years with its extended “Real Beauty” campaign by Ogilvy.

The latest spot, titled “Patches”, went viral faster than any of its predecessors. In an interview earlier this month, a branding expert told us it was an example for other brands to mimic.

And yet, with success comes criticism. As the ad got bigger, nearly every blog weighed in to knock it. EDGE Collective founder Ryan Aynes told us that the amplification of negative sentiments on social media made the backlash look larger than it actually was, but plenty of people still disapprove.

This parody of the spot isn’t the funniest thing you’ll see this week, but it does summarize the complaints made against Dove:

As our headline reads, however, Unilever is totally cool with it.

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Apple Highlights Environmental Efforts, Counters Greenwashing Charges

Apple has suffered from significant challenges to its reputation for ethics and business practices due to dirty laundry aired during its ongoing legal battles.

But when it comes to CSR and particularly environmental practices, the company seems to be doing fairly well. Today brought this campaign anticipating Earth Day:

As several outlets have noted, it’s not simply a high-budget video documenting internal operations.

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Steve Jobs Is Now Bad for Apple’s Reputation

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To say that recent lawsuits have been terrible PR for Apple would be an understatement.

The company’s ongoing copyright battle with Samsung, for example, produced a string of internal emails between its marketing manager and its ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, over “brand likability” and the failure of recent campaigns to elevate the iPhone over the Galaxy.

The other big suit going on at the moment concerns supposed anti-employee collusion between four top tech companies: Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. The plan’s mastermind was Steve Jobs himself, but Apple would prefer that no one mention that fact at trial.

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Coming to a Freezer Near You: PR from the Frozen Food Section?

frozen food review

Because even the frozen pork rinds need love

DYK that there has been a shortage in the frozen food section?

Evidently, it has grown to Hungry-Man XXL proportions because the entire frozen food industry believes it has an image problem. It could be America’s push to eat healthy. Possibly, farm-to-table is to blame. Maybe, it is because of all those shows Food Network keeps creating forcing at-home cooks to believe they can be the next Emeril Lagasse.

Whatever the case, the American Frozen Food Institute has decided to invest in a “multi-year, multimillion dollar PR campaign.” Oh, it’s real. It’s very real.  Read more

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