Helping corporate communicators and companies move along the road to sustainability with insights, models and advice since 1992

As a strategic consultancy founded on sustainable business principles advanced by Bruce Harrison and his associates, EnviroComm provides insights, models and advice to companies connecting with stakeholders in the era of carbon constraint.

Corporate Sustainability

Traditionally, sustainable development has meant that everything a company does — where it operates, its use of raw materials and fuel, operational pollution, product stewardship that goes from design to reuse — will have minimum or no negative impact now or in the future. Global warming and carbon reduction factors have changed the game. Corporate sustainability now addresses new economic, social and political realities that require adjustment in strategic business decisions and stakeholder engagements.

Corporate Greening 2.0

EnviroComm helps executives solve problems, compete and communicate effectively as they move from current environmental management into the management of climate change and energy issues.

Want a Quiet Checkup of Your Company's Greening Footprint?

An online one-page self-survey could do the trick for you. At no risk to you, you can see where your company stands — and possibly get some insights as to where you need to go — by trying out this scorecard. And, of course, if you want to get into this somewhat deeper, again at the confidential research level, look inside Corporate Greening 2.0 where the climate change/sustainability positions and public statements of 40 companies are reviewed.

Watch Your Words on the Investor Call. Somebody is Counting!

What words are the leaders of your publicly-held company using on quarterly earnings calls? Apparently, it matters. Read more.

Yesterday Was Easy; Hello, Today

According to a military veteran, the U.S. Navy Seals have a favorite saying: "The only easy day was yesterday." Chief executives and their communication counselors know what that means. Read more.

CCO Role in Innovative Disruption

What is the chief communicator's opportunity in an era of innovative disruption? Researchers associated with Accenture's Institute for Higher Performance, underscore the prevalence of "devastating innovation" in virtually all business sectors and urge companies to encourage "seers" who dare to think what-if. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Crisis Discipline: A 7-Point Strategic Communication Plan

Stanley Bing, a writer who is engaged in corporate management, writes tongue-in-cheek about C-suite activities. He calls any kind of management "a rare corporate discipline." In the face of this lighthearted despair, my co-author Judith Muhlberg and I have offered in our forthcoming book for students of corporate crisis a disciplined seven-step corporate crisis communication plan. Read more.

What if Travolta Introduced Your Boss?

What if Travolta Introduced Your Boss?What if your CEO's name were travoltarized? Issue a press statement? Clarify on the corporate website? Ignore it? Or...go with it? Read more.

Communication Seals Deals With Stakeholders

Corporate leaders know that stakeholder support is the essential factor in enterprise success. Arthur W. Page at AT&T years ago told corporate leaders that if they wanted succeed in their business aims, they needed to get permission from participating publics. Harvard's Fisher and Ury have for decades counseled "getting to yes" methods for leaders to overcome handicaps and achieve mutual-benefit connections. The energizing element in success and connections such as these is a two-way flow of trustworthy communication. Read more.

Oh, Say Can You SEO?

If corporate communicators expect the company's products or service, or its marketing or business perspective, to compete in what Al Ries and Jack Trout considered the battle for mind space, they must be search-engine wise. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Apologize? The Trend is Questioned; Contexts Will Rule

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin on February 4, 2014, launched #ApologyWatch, a Twitter-endowed campaign to question the trend of political and business leaders to apologize for mistakes, misleads, mishaps, misquotes et al. Sorkin and social/business counselor Dov Seidman (How, his famous book) surface a leadership communication issue that most corporate experts face at one time or another. Read more.

Why leadership-development programs fail

Sidestepping four common mistakes can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money, and boost morale. Read more.

Sustainability as Evolving Business Mission

Corporate acceptance of "sustainability" has been on the rise. In corporate terms sustainability has come to mean sustaining both the company's business mission (economic) as well as its social responsibilities. I have proposed defining (and thereby encouraging) "corporate sustainability" on the successful management of three interdependent business factors: financial/economic, social/environmental, and political/government. Read more.

Context, content, tone need adjusting to connect with company critics, Maslansky tells Georgetown students.

Michael Maslansky, communication counselor and book author, makes the point that, with indicators consistently showing a decline in public trust, companies must communicate in ways that are more likely to connect, even with skeptics. Read more.

IBM's Iwata describes 'influence' in Georgetown lecture

Jon Iwata, IBM senior vice president, marketing and communications, described future frontiers challenging corporate communicators as guest lecturer at Georgetown University on October 24, 2013. Honored public relations principles such as "influence the influencers" are rapidly refining into precise segmentation of stakeholders in corporate success, said Iwata. Read more.

Create Company Followers from the Inside, Out

The way to build external support is to activate personally satisfying drives inside the company. Experts on human resources and motivation have found that personal motivational drive can be turned on and the bonus effect is that employees become leaders. Read more.

Greg Elliott, Senior Vice President of Navistar, Inc., delivers lecture on communicating corporate change

Greg Elliott, Senior Vice President of Navistar, Inc., (center) delivered a lecture on communicating corporate change, hosted by Georgetown University's class in leadership communication on October 3. Read more.

Your performance as presenter

How, when and why do we humans perform at our best? What makes us fail or choke when we are trying very hard to succeed? Whether playing golf, acting on stage, solving a math problem or giving a speech, personal panic can interrupt. Read more.

Know the contexts before you speak

Notre Dame Professor James O'Rourke's excellent resource book, The Truth About Confident Presenting, asserts that all communication is context-driven. Presenters can best prepare by understanding the contexts of audience, purpose and occasion. Read more.

Martin Luther King's Communications Counselor

"Tell 'em about the dream, Martin," singer Mahalia Jackson shouted to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King halfway through his script at the Lincoln Memorial, a quarter of a million people standing in the sun to see and hear him, millions more listening on the radio and on TV. Why would she take the chance of jarring him in the middle of the leadership speech of a lifetime? Here is where leadership communications and the communicating leader are tested. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

McChrystal's Path from Crisis to Leadership

How do you respond to a crisis at the personal level? Is there a leadership communication strategy for dealing with a highly publicized, damaging, personal situation? General Stanley McChrystal was the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan when a profile portrayed him and his aides as contemptuous of the President. Read more.

What is a corporate leader?

Leaders in a corporate setting are visionaries. They recruit, build, attract, influence and collaborate. They build trust. They are optimistic yet realistic. What do all these traits and qualities add up to? Read more.

Five Principles of Communicating in Difficult Times

If you accept life's road as rocky with challenges, the popular psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote in his turn-of-the-century book, The Road Less Traveled, you grow physically, intellectually and emotionally. Let's apply that idea to corporate leadership communication: The process of drawing energy from difficulty and forging ahead requires a special kind of communication. Read more.

Communicating Under Fire: CEO Victories are Sweet, At Least for a Day

Jamie Dimon beats back an investor attack on his command of two top jobs. Timothy Cook weathers a congressional assault on his company's reputation and motives. In widely different theatres of engagement, the chief executives of JPMorgan Chase and Apple showed how leaders take charge, disarm attackers and reassure followers. Read more.

Competence: Core to Corporate Leadership, More So Now

Leadership competence separates winners and losers. Winning, successfully competitive corporate leadership means execution of core competences at two performance levels — economic and emotional — enabled at both levels by communication competence. Read more.

A CEO issues a user manual

What communication initiative can a corporate executive take to make sure he and the executive (or production) team are on the same wavelength? Read more.

Communicating with the Boss: A 'No-Spin Zone'

Successful professionals in the public relations business generally abhor "spin" as a description of preferred communication strategy. Despite some defense of the word as a common method of impacting opinion, "spin" to most communication professionals smacks of manipulation, hype and other eroders of trust. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Listening: Critical Factor in CCO-CEO Connection

The CCO has to be all ears in her relationship with the CEO. She needs to know constantly what, when, where and how the chief executive — the ultimate voice of the company — needs, wants and is able to communicate.Read more.

Listening: Where Corporate Communication Starts

To read Jeffrey Immelt's annual report message as his followers might have read it, the GE chief was telling them: Create stakeholders in our success by understanding what our stakeholders want and what we need to do to deliver. Let go of any ego notion that we know it all. Get out there and listen and learn...Read more.

Watching Debates? Think LC and the Troublesome Past

If you are the expert communicator, counseling the leader, how significant is the leader's past communication record? Read more.

Change — the one key word in your future corporate job Inbox

For the student in business-related studies: So you want a job in corporate communications? What's that going to be like? Geoff Colvin, in Fortune magazine in 2006, underscored what amounts to an eternal truth in corporate behavior and leadership: It's all about change. Read more.

Vision: Perceiving the Train in the Mist

"You should be able to see the freight train coming out of the mist!" Joe Scarborough says that was the one lesson his college torts professor drilled into him. "When you put together your argument to win a case, you've always got to ask, what if…? You've got to think ahead! What's your plan B?" Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Is the CCO the Conscientious Compliance Counselor?

How much accountability does the communicator in the C-suite have for influencing the company's culture? It varies, company to company, of course, but it's safe to observe that the opportunity is growing. Read more.

Where is the Old-Fashioned, Tough Copy Editor?

When and why does a news channel put in the stumbles, repeats of words by the interviewed source? Read more.

Beyond Followers: Scaling up to Stakeholder Advocacy

Research and studies by the Arthur W. Page Society indicate that corporate chief communication officers (CCOs) are building toward accountability for improving advocacy within the company's stakeholder universe. Read more.

Volunteering in the Constant Conversation (J&J August 2012)

An outstanding example of corporate leadership communication appeared on the first page of the New York Times business section on August 16, 2012. The story was about Johnson & Johnson's decision to remove "questionable chemicals" from some of its products. In my view, this is very near the epitome of leadership communication. Read more.

Stakeholders Respond, Rely on Our Words

In the CCO's world of words, impact on stakeholders is the test. What can the corporate communicator do to cut through all the other conversations to caution or to reassure? Assessing current financial chaos, New Yorker Financial Page contributor James Surowiecki recalls a 1999 comment from former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan: "In virtually all transactions we rely on the word of those with whom we do business." Read more.

EKE: Everybody Knows Everything, Eventually.

Anyone who cares to know anything about your organization can get some, and perhaps a lot of information, right or wrong, correct or incorrect, timely or not, from some source at some time. Openness, like perception, is reality. Read more.

Leadership is Local

The business leader depends first and most heavily on the circle of executives closest to him, his direct reports. Read more.

Using Pride to Prod Corporate Change

As guest lecturer in our crisis communication graduate class at Georgetown University this year, Page Society President Roger Bolton underscored a basic tenet of leadership communication: corporate culture has the power to kill or to energize the execution of strategies. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Communication Without 'Gatekeepers'

Fences are down, gates are irrelevant. Google and Facebook and Apple and Amazon, pads and phones and clouds — the endless chatter and the ease of leaks — have changed the lives of corporate gatekeepers. Read more.

'Public Relations'? 'Communications'? Shall We Straddle?

Paul Holmes goes to court in a recent commentary with his case for reaffirming "public relations" as the proper description of the field. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

The Shattered Dome of Silence

In 2006, Peggy Noonan described the Bush-Cheney White House as a place where sensitive information was carefully contained. After the incident of the accidental shooting of a fellow hunter by Vice President Cheney, Noonan said that chief executive communications were within "a never permeable dome of silence." There was no such thing, as it turned out. Read more.

CCO Role in Transformation Innovation?

If the CEO needs the entire company to get behind an idea with major money bet on it, whose help does he or she need? Hello, CCO! Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Ready for this? Is it real — or is it P.R.?

While efforts in the professional communications community to define and redefine "public relations" seem eternal, the dissing endures. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

What Do CEOs Admire?: Jeffrey Immelt, GE, on CSR and Ecomagination

In the March 1, 2012, online takeouts from Fortune magazine's annual "most admired" issue, the March 1, 2012 version of the 2012 "most admired" issue of Fortune is Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, on CSR and the company's Ecomagination program. Read more.

What Do CEOs Admire?: Ursula Burns, CEO, Xerox, on being a good corporate citizen

In Fortune magazine's March 1, 2012 online take-outs from its annual "most admired" issue, Ursula Burns answered several questions about CSR and reputation. Read more.

What Do CEOs Admire?: John Donahoe, CEO, eBay, on sustainable performance and social accountabiility

How do leaders communicate on sustainable business and social responsibility? Here are two of the questions and answers that John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, handled in the March 1, 2012 version of the 2012 "most admired" issue of Fortune magazine. Read more.

Can You Talk Your Boss Out of Pre-Crisis Decision?

Can consultants to leaders, including chief communication officers engaging with CEOs, keep bosses from creating crises? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Risk Perception: Communicator's Role?

Who is neglected in this article from Industry Week about 'risk champions' in the C-suite?

BP Crisis 2010: Update 2012, "BP Makes Amends"

A halo headline in the New York Times for an oil company is not something you expect to see very often. It is especially rare for a company blamed, condemned, excoriated and sued for its role in a disaster that inflicts severe damage, death, economic and environmental pain and suffering. Read Bruce's full article.

My Happy New Year Silent Spring Story

This is personal. One of those new-year-reflection things. It was teed up by a journalist, writing his piece — and maybe later a book — about greening. Read Bruce's full article.

Who's Talking Truth to the Boss? How is it Working?

The riskiness of citing risk in the C-suite is you can get fired for it. Or you can compromise yourself and your truth-telling principles by overlooking the boss' moves to silence a complaint. Or you can isolate yourself when the chief makes a lame comment in public that wasn't in the plan. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Where the Eye of an Icon Began: Harold Burson's Nuremberg Scripts

It's been said that journalists, men and women who work as on-the-scene reporters, serve a purpose higher than current informing; they provide the first drafts of enduring history. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Information vs. Defamation: Impact of Courtroom Communication

Why does the legal fight between BP and Halliburton remind me of Kramer vs. Kramer? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Subsistence Diets for CEOs, Politicians & Aardvarks

Frank Bruni in Sunday's New York Times makes an interesting comparison between politicians and aardvarks. You can't expect a person running for office to put aside his talking points, Bruni says, because "that's like asking an aardvark to go easy on the ants. A species can't be denied its subsistence diet." Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

VICTORY: Seven Traits of Business Leaders

Leaders like to win. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins found the one-two winning combination for building a company's enduring greatness: a fierce, professional will and a comfortable, personal humility.Read Bruce's full article.

CCO as Advocate for C-Suite Openness

"Quick, boss, you need to apologize!" Are these the first words out of the mouth of the chief communication officer when the CEO owns up to personal accountability for a negative situation?Read Bruce's full article.

Nokia CEO Shows a Trait that a CCO Has to Love: Sisu

The CEO who metaphorically jumped off a burning platform into a dark and uncertain sea earlier this year has come up for air. He holds aloft a smartphone, the product that he says is a symbol of the answer to save his company, and he's very compelling. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Are Digitizing Executives Their Own Whistle Blowers?

While journalists and the public are poring through 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin's e-mails, corporate communicators may well be asking, could it happen with us? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Can You Counsel With Your Mouth Shut?

Chet Burger, one of the great corporate counselors of our time, told me at least 30 years ago that if I wanted to win the confidence of a potential client, I needed to talk less and listen more. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Leadership Ambiguity (Otellini, Intel)

Ambiguous messages can backfire. On the other hand, a lot of corporate executives love ambiguity. Making decisions that allow flexibility or wiggle room are fairly common in business, just as they are in the legal profession, and ambiguity is a natural opening move in legal negotiations. Read Bruce's full article.

Must CCO's be Cassandra at the C-Suite Table?

The Coast Guard report on blame for the Gulf oil spill reaffirms a crisis verity: somewhere in the story there's almost always the revelation that two organizational factors ? company culture and leadership communications ? are significant elements in achieving workplace safety and product reliability. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Are We There Yet? New BP Leader Faces the Slippery Slope

A company's stakeholders, particularly its investors, must seem to some chief executives like the pesky kids in the backseat asking the universal question, "Are we there yet?" BP's chief executive, Robert Dudley, knows his backseat of passengers and critics are not only asking if the giant oil company is back on safer ground after the disaster in the Gulf. They're asking, are you the guy to get us there? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Wisdom of Unorthodox Communications

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's now-widely publicized letter to employees prompts three questions. What was he thinking? Was it an effective letter? And did he have help from a professional communicator? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Is Time the Enemy of Truth for Business Communicators?

The New York Times ombudsman reveals how the Gray Old Lady, America's archetype of reliable journalism, was burned when she stepped across the digital divide on January 8 to deliver information on the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.

Shrink Your Message to Nine Seconds?

Story in Boston Globe says politicians need to spit it out. They say sound bites have to shrink to nine seconds. Politicians have to say it fast, clean, clear. They have to figure out what works with voters. Same for corporate communicators? Read Bruce's full article at the Arthur W. Page Society "Page Turner" blog.


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