BOSTON—Cone, the Omnciom-owned agency best known for its work in cause branding, has launched Cone Corporate Responsibility Solutions, a suite of services designed to help companies integrate corporate responsibility and communications strategies to build business value and reputation.
International polling by organizations such as Globescan indicates the public has heightened expectations of companies in the area of corporate responsibility, but that there is a growing “cynicism gap” between those expectations and the perception of corporate performance.
“Our goal always is to help clients develop a broad-based CR strategy for the way they operate, and then tie that to effective communication,” says Mike Lawrence, Cone’s executive vice president of corporate responsibility. “It is critical to link these two areas to protect a brand’s credibility and enhance reputation.”
Cone says its approach to CR emphasizes opportunities and business benefits, not merely compliance or obligations. By combining CR strategy and communications, the firm hopes to help clients to manage and improve their impact and align corporate values and behavior with the expectations and needs of stakeholders, including employees, activities, communities, and investors. When appropriate, the firm will offer a comprehensive CR strategy, brand positioning, and communication plan that define and maintain a leadership position.
Cone’s core team of CR specialists includes Lawrence, an award-winning former business journalist with 25 years of news experience and a decade of crisis and issues management work; Henk Campher, a former director of corporate policy and practices at the International Business Leaders Forum and Oxfam Great Britain policy advisor; Mindy Gomes Casseres, former management consultant from PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Christine Riley, who helped develop the strategic vision and long-term growth strategy for the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government.