NEW YORK, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Edelman, the world's largest public relations firm, announced the launch of its eighth global practice, Business + Social Purpose. Led by global practice chair Carol Cone, Business + Social Purpose will consolidate the firm's global CSR, sustainability and citizenship capabilities into a comprehensive offering. Cone, whose decades of expertise encompass groundbreaking work and intellectual property in the field of brand, corporation and NGO social issues engagement, will partner with a team of regional practice leads from around the globe including Ashley Hegland – Asia Pacific, Sharon Hess – Latin America, Pia Garcia – UK, and Michael Holland – North America. Together they will direct a global team of 125 professionals with expertise ranging from CSR and sustainability to brand and corporate citizenship and NGO marketing.
"Currently, leading brands, corporations and NGO's are transforming how they operate, shaping consumer and civic engagement, and smart public policy in a complex global environment," said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. "Imbued with a deep Purpose, these organizations address business and social imperatives through powerful, integrated strategy and execution. This practice will provide comprehensive business and social solutions to maximize clients' commercial success and social impact."
Alan VanderMolen, vice chairman, DJE Inc., and president and CEO, Global Practices, Edelman, added: "In our globalized world, organizations cannot work in isolation, nor can they solely focus on profit. How an organization makes profits is equally important as the profits themselves. What an organization stands for– their Purpose –is now critical in our transparent world. The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer confirms the critical need for organizations to earn a 'license to lead.' Commercial and societal interests have converged and Business + Social Purpose is a practice that offers our clients a significant way to earn that license."
The Power of Purpose
For more than two decades, Edelman has been at the vanguard of helping leading brands and corporations create lasting connections between business and society. StarKist's dolphin-safe tuna and the Chiquita "Better Banana" project were early campaigns that demonstrated the power of aligning with social issues. More recently, the company, with client Dove, helped launch a global women's self-esteem movement, and with client Brita, created a movement to reduce plastic bottled water waste.
"This exciting work demonstrates our deep experience aligning the expectations of shareholders with the values of stakeholders for mutual benefit," said Cone. "We define Purpose as an organization's reason for being beyond just making profits. Purpose expresses their values in action through a variety of strategies and programs engaging stakeholders to create positive social change and organizational growth. Purpose helps organizations create differentiation; fuels product innovation, growth and sales; builds trust and protects reputation and engagement; and it inspires employees, customers and consumers. With Purpose, organizations and brands have a more important place in peoples' lives."
Why Business + Social Purpose?
Business + Social Purpose will provide a spectrum of services that includes: brand and corporate citizenship strategy and initiatives, CSR strategic planning, programming and reporting, reputation and issues management, public affairs, environmental sustainability, employee engagement, strategic philanthropy, cause–related marketing, public-private partnership development, NGO positioning, engagement and fundraising, and digital engagement.
"We call ourselves Business + Social Purpose because business can no longer stand on the sidelines of our collective future," said Cone. "Bringing social and environmental issues into business, in a relevant and authentic way adds energy and a reason for being beyond profits. Our goal is to help clients crystallize, integrate and activate their commitments to CSR, sustainability, and citizenship throughout their operations and their brands."
Growing Purpose Commitments
Over the past 18 months, Edelman has enhanced its global Purpose capabilities. When Cone joined the firm in April 2010, the company added a global leader in cause branding and citizenship whose work has helped clients raise more than $1.2 billion for social causes. In September 2010, Edelman acquired Significa, the principal social issues strategy firm in Latin America, increasing its existing Brazil operations to more than 100 professionals. And more recently, Mike Krzus, an internationally recognized independent sustainability and integrated reporting consultant, joined the firm as a senior counselor. Krzus will work to enhance the agency's integrated reporting capabilities for clients.
Edelman also committed to its own Purpose agenda, appointing John Edelman as global director of Edelman Citizenship in July 2011. Edelman Citizenship was responsible for the firm's first FY11 Global Citizenship Report; donated $5.1 million in FY11 in cash and pro bono services; established a global diversity advisory board; implemented a global carbon footprint and environmental reporting system; developed a global policy for employee volunteerism towards UNMDG of eradicating hunger and poverty, and awarded $150,000 to local organizations through the Edelman Community Investment Grant Program.
"It was critical for us to walk the talk, as we were advising clients," said John Edelman.
Current Business + Social Purpose clients include: Adobe, American Heart Association, Becton Dickinson, Brita, Darden, Dove, Girl Scouts of the USA, eBay, Exelis, Humana, Levis, Natura, OMO, PNC Financial Services, Samsung, Southwest Airlines, Western Union, and Xylem, among others.
Edelman is the world's largest public relations firm, with 63 offices and more than 4,200 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities. Edelman was named Advertising Age's top-ranked PR firm of the decade in 2009 and one of its "A-List Agencies" in both 2010 and 2011; Adweek's "2011 PR Agency of the Year;" PRWeek's "2011 Large PR Agency of the Year;" and The Holmes Report's "2011 Global Agency of the Year" and its 2011 North American "Large Agency of the Year." Edelman was named one of the "Best Places to Work" by Advertising Age in 2010 and 2012 and among Glassdoor's top five "2011 Best Places to Work." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), A&R Edelman (technology), First&42nd (management consultancy), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and agencies Edelman Significa (Brazil), and Pegasus (China). Visit http://www.edelman.com for more information.