Corporate citizens have much to contribute. Now we know how they’d like to do it.
We called up the Amcham membership to discuss how they think influencing should happen in today’s day and age. That’s a hot topic for several reasons.
First, every company has something to say. In private discussions, most of them can easily list fixes that would enable them to hire people and invest more, but they seem to rarely have a feasible way of communicating the opportunities to the decision makers. Granted, it may not be a multi-billion industrial investment, but a fresh way of organizing work. Collectively, the impact could still be significant. Where to pool their messages to generate growth?
Second, the immense disruption affecting Western societies has corporate leaders wondering how to organize their government relations and corporate citizenship. The global and political landscapes are shifting and we are undergoing a digital disruption. Companies are transforming from one-industry giants into smaller units and ecosystem enablers. How to move from behind closed doors to social channels and cross-industry platforms?
Third, no one seems to have time to do “influencing” as a full-time job. Deal-making is not in vogue although you could be led to believe otherwise. Instead, dialogue is now part of the companies’ brand and the way they do business, not a job description of someone with a sizable expense account. How do you build the message into everything your company does and represents?
Fourth, there is a new generation of leaders who are looking for their space for sharing ideas and amplifying their voice. What is their network for learning and collaborating?
We spoke with a group of highly interesting, heavy hitters in public relations and communications to get a better understanding of how we should be influencing.
Taru Tujunen, a political mover-and-shaker turned C.E.O. of strategic communications company Ellun Kanat, gave a general overview of what lobbying looks like today.
Tuuli Kousa represents the financial house OP, which in fact no longer is a financial house only. The cooperative is expanding into health care, smart traffic and other fields that will require rethinking the company’s affiliations completely.
Päivi Mononen-Mikkilä discussed the messaging and partners of a company that has a highly regulated product and few channels for traditional lobbying.
Next week, we’ll be exploring how the post-truth scene in the U.S. and around the world affects the international business environment.
Political journalist Rick Dunham, former White House correspondent of the Businessweek, who has covered five U.S. presidents, and Jaakko Laajava, Former Under-Secretary, Ambassador at Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, will help us put the last few months in perspective and understand how to navigate the new landscape.
We’ll see you there.