"We are now at a point where CEOs and other members of top management have to lead in a more public manner
.....As Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal said so well, public companies are now political institutions and need to solicit support from stakeholders including NGOs, employees, communities as well as shareholders
"First, the smart company will communicate on both the vertical and horizontal axis. The top down, one way, controlled messages often from the CEO that have characterized corporate communications is still important. The traditional media, particularly business magazines and newspapers, is vital to achieving credibility. So are expert spokespeople, such as academics, financial analysts and doctors, who can help the CEO carry the message because of their credentials. But the peer-to-peer horizontal conversation, led by impassioned employees and consumers, is now a critical companion.
"Second, the proper treatment of employees is the new “green” in building trust as a global company. The number one activity for a socially responsible company is fair treatment of its employees, comparable to how its products meet environmental standards. Positive employee relations are as important as fair pricing of products in being a good corporate citizen.
"Third, there is a general decline in trust in all spokespeople and sources of information. That means a company must tell its story consistently and in multiple venues in order to achieve trust. We live in a world—as Linda Stone describes--of continuous partial attention."