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Viewers don’t want a polished sound bite machine, says author of book blasting media training

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 14:41:45 +0000

When I travel to Northampton, Massachusetts, to spend time at 3BL Media’s headquarters, I invariably walk away smarter about the way corporate social responsibility and sustainability communicators do their jobs.

My colleagues on 3BL Media’s media consultant team work closely with clients, publishing content and reporting back on the effectiveness of various media types.

While some content types ebb and flow in popularity, video remains a reliable performer. 

It’s no wonder.  YouTube is the second most trafficked website in the world, with 20 billion visits a month. 

For business audiences, videos telling stories about corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are accessed by fund managers and analysts over the Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters platforms.

I’m not the only one who thinks video is perhaps the most important medium.  Read what best-selling author and digital marketing entrepreneur Seth Godin wrote recently:

“Every business major takes a writing course, but that’s not our future.  Instead, everyone with something to say is going to need to say it on camera.  And Vern Oakley’s crash course is a great place to start.”

Who is Vern Oakley?

Vern is a friend who, like me, has dedicated his career to working with brands and senior executives on communicating news to important audiences, both internal and external.  He lives in Chatham, N.J., where he has operated Tribe Pictures since the film and and video production company started in 1986.  Vern is also a new author, having published Leadership in Focus this past winter.

In the book, Oakley writes that authenticity suffers when those appearing on camera look like they’ve just completed a media training course – a mainstay in the toolkit for many PR pros.

“While media training prepares you for some specific situations, it can suck all the authenticity out of you and leave nothing but a corporate talking head,” warns Oakley in his new book, Leadership in Focus. “It teaches people to pivot, to avoid, to squirm, and to dodge. Media training helps people go on Fox News or sit with Charlie Rose or get in a good quip at the debate, but what happens in media training is the total opposite of what it takes to be you on camera.  Viewers don’t want a polished sound bite machine.  They want a real human.”

In my new role as publisher of CR Magazine, I decided to invite Vern to talk about CSR storytelling on film during COMMIT!Forum, Oct. 11-12 at MGM National Harbor, just outside Washington, D.C.  We invite you to join us and harness the power of video for your corporate responsibility initiatives.

CR Software Platforms Share Big Data Findings

Mon, 15 May 2017 15:38:45 +0000

One of the benefits of running a digital platform used by corporate responsibility teams is being able to learn from the successes and mistakes of your clients, and to access big data to help demystify important issues. For example, we were curious whether 3BL Media clients were increasing engagement around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Mining the 3BL Media news distribution platform showed a doubling of content referencing the SDGs in 2016 on top of a huge spike the prior year, when the Global Goals were unveiled.  We used that business knowledge to introduce 17+ SDG-specific tags so our clients’ blogs, photos, videos, infographics and other assets can get added visibility among target audiences interested in water and sanitation versus food security, for example.  Had clients been disinterested in the SDGs, we would not have expended the project management and engineering resources, but the data confirmed momentum for the SDGs. When it comes to corporate giving programs and the way nonprofits handle fundraising, Blackbaud is a large and respected software provider that’s very well positioned to provide guidance based on mining its own data. Fortunately, Blackbaud’s Rachel Hutchisson is keen to offer advice gleaned from her experience as the Charleston, SC, company’s VP of corporate citizenship and philanthropy, and from the way the $3 billion software giant’s many customers use its platforms. Millennials and their behavior in the workplace has been front of mind for Hutchisson, who describes workers in this demographic as a bit rebellious toward traditional CR management models. “Everyone portrays them as never joining and just doing their own thing,” said Hutchisson, explaining that Blackbaud research shows Millennials are actually very engaged in volunteering, but on their own terms. “They view all their assets equally – time, money and voice.” Labeling Millennnials savvier than prior generations, Hutchisson said many members of the workforce at her company – including Gen Xers-- are not just working for the money. “At Blackbaud, 86 percent of people told us that it matters to them that they work in the world of philanthropy or social good when they joined us. They could do technology anywhere.” Advising other companies on how to appeal to that generational attitude, Hutchisson said too many dictates from management about what constitutes sanctioned charities or volunteering activities can be a turn-off – especially for those in the 22-36 age bracket, the largest segment of the workforce. “They like the idea of authorship,” said Hutchisson, adding that many workers prefer to volunteer with or donate to organizations they’ve founded or sourced themselves rather than choosing from an official company list of projects or charities. That lack of control is threatening to some corporate responsibility professionals, admitted Hutchisson, but Blackbaud data show a surge in companies adopting more liberal policies around matching gifts and the use of volunteer hours -- typically for anything except religious and political causes.  “We don’t care what you do as long as you’re out there doing something,” she said, calling employees “agents of good” that should be regarded as a pillar that supports business performance.  Additional advice Hutchisson shared for CR practitioners: Don’t tell employees what they can put on Twitter. Encourage grass-roots action and advocacy campaigns from employees, such as the Tour to Enable motorcycle fundraiser to provide all-terrain vehicles for wounded veterans. Provide tools for staffers seeking to conduct crowd-funding campaigns.  Blackbaud offers the Everyday Hero app at no upfront charge for nonprofit fundraising. Make sure to celebrate employees for volunteer actions. [...]

Baltimore Utility Chief Emphasizes CSR Following Freddy Gray Death

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:12:10 +0000

Freddy Gray’s death while in the custody of Baltimore police pushed the riot-torn city’s only African America big company CEO into action, emphasizing corporate social responsibility to heal the scab that had been ripped off the community”

Baltimore Gas & Electric chief Calvin G. Butler Jr. said the 2015 death and racial strife pushed the 200-year-old utility to use the power of procurement in partnership with service providers and nonprofits to hire and train more people from inner city neighborhoods.

“The economic divide was getting wider and wider,” Butler said of simmering racial tensions that boiled over following Gray’s death, adding that civic leaders galvanized to open up additional economic opportunities for many who had previously been excluded.

The company joined a Ford Motor Company program, Men of Courage, celebrating the accomplishments of African American men with the goal of strengthening communities and creating positive social change, said Butler.

Working with Johns Hopkins University, the utility tweaked the scorecards used for purchasing services so firms staffed with residents from local neighborhoods would be given preference, said Butler.

“If you want to do business with us, that’s a prerequisite for is,” said Butler, adding that he felt obligated to act because of his stature as the only black CEO of a large company in Baltimore at the time of Gray’s death and heightened focus on racial justice in the city.

CSR is clearly comfortable territory for Butler, whose speech at Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit in Brooklyn today was punctuated with statistics about Baltimore Gas & Electric’s social and environmental achievements.

The workforce of 3,200 contributed 22,000 hours of volunteer work in the community last year, Butler said.  A 2008 goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 was achieved in 2013.

Gas and electric ratepayers generally only think of the utility, a regulated monopoly and wholly owned subsidiary of Exelon Corp., when there is a service disruption, Butler acknowledged.  The goal of the company’s CSR initiatives is to establish a bond with customers beyond the monthly bill.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Butler said, crediting Maya Angelou.

(Photo Caption: Calvin G. Butler, Jr., CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric)

Corporate Reputation Drives Both Kinds of CCO

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:25:19 +0000

All CCOs are not created equally. But they’re getting closer. After decades working alongside chief communications officers, I figured other corporate professional masquerading under the CCO acronym had little in common with the wordsmiths who manage corporate messaging. That myth was exploded when I attended a gathering of the other CCO-- chief compliance officers – and realized their concerns about corporate reputation were completely aligned with the ink-stained wretches who manage comms. The occasion was the Global Ethics Summit, an annual conference presented by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Ethisphere Institute.  Whether in sessions about diversity and inclusion, mergers and acquisitions, or big data, it became clear that protecting the brand is a shared responsibility. “Companies are no longer just happy to be out of the news,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, executive vice president of Ethisphere in an interview about the intersection of corporate compliance and communications. Byrne pointed to collaborative research done by her team and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) demonstrating the value of communicating – both internally and externally – an organization’s commitment to ethics. That’s music to our ears at 3BL Media, where clients use our platform to share their goals and achievements on everything ESG – environmental, social and governance. “Communicating the things you do well, the things you aspire to do better and the challenges you need to overcome leads to openness and accountability,” said Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner in a white paper published by PRSA and Ethisphere. “It makes your relationships with stakeholders—consumers, employees, shareholders and regulators—more consistent, trustworthy and transparent. Because our stakeholders know we’re not just checking off the boxes when we work together. In Hasbro’s culture, if we’re consistent in our expectations, we can’t help but be ethical.” Among other conference takeaways applicable to both communications and compliance officers: State Street Global Advisors earned accolades for rolling out new guidelines to push the more than 3,000 public companies in which it invests to increase the number of women on their boards.  A bronze statue of a girl facing down the famed Wall Street bull called attention to the asset manager’s action on International Women’s Day. Visa General Counsel Kelly Mahon Tullier acknowledged the two industries her company straddles, financial services and technology, have not historically received high marks for employee diversity and inclusion.  That has changed and is driving new thinking and growth. “The research shows the most innovative teams are the most diverse teams.” Here’s an interview Mahon Tullier did on the topic during a Bloomberg event. Storytelling, another tried and true tactic for those in corporate communications, is working effectively for both Boeing and Dell as they remind employees to place integrity and ethics ahead of simply getting deals done. “Customers care not just about what we sell but how we act,” said Dell Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Michael McLaughlin, whose emails titled “Don’t Let This Happen To You,” have a high open rate. Gamification works at Boeing, which created custom Jeopardy questions concerning corporate ethics at a recent Aerospace Industry Association conference, said Diana Sands, senior vice president of internal governance and administration at Boeing. Recognition in respected rankings can have tangible business benefits.  Companies on the list of most ethical companies saw a 6.4 percent rise in share price, said Ethisphere’s Salmon Byrne. (Photo Credit: Federica Valabrega) [...]

Aspiring to be a Mensch: Big Budget TV Spots Lead with Social Impact Messages

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 20:11:39 +0000

Being a mensch seems to connect with consumers.

Two big-budget national TV ad campaigns – one from pharma giant Pfizer and the other from the wealth management firm Ameriprise Financial – are trying to drive sales through storylines involving the kind of social impact work usually reserved for nonprofits and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

In the case of Pfizer, taking the fibromyalgia drug Lyrica allows a man to do what he loves, donning a blue “volunteer” shirt and renovating a house

Ameriprise shows a middle-aged couple who presumably followed the investment plan created by their financial advisor so they can become foster parents instead of empty nesters.

Gone is the imagery of selfish Americans driving flashy sports cars or boarding luxury cruises – at least on these two campaigns.

Marketers are hearing from multiple sources that today’s consumers respond favorably to companies committed to CSR. 

A study by IBM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Corporate Citizenship found brand reputation improves when a company shares stories about social impact and environmental achievements. 

The Reputation Institute’s recent corporate reputation ranking called out CSR as a main driver. “Companies with a strong sense of purpose who are committed to improving on all dimensions of reputation – especially governance and citizenship – tend to be the most highly regarded,” said CMO Allen Bonde. 

That’s certainly our contention at 3BL Media, where our clients share a steady stream of videos, articles, blogs, photos, infographics and press releases about their work in sustainability and corporate responsibility. To see this depicted by actors during prime time ad campaigns is also terrific.

Even some small businesses are punching above their weight in CSR.  In 3BL Media’s hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts, real estate developer Jonathan Wright was lauded on the front page of the local newspaper for offering a handicapped-accessible luxury condo unit to an Iraqi refugee family.

“You don’t see that kind of extraordinary giving,” the executive director of Catholic Charities in Springfield, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “It’s just really amazing to see that kind of outpouring of compassion.”

Box of Chocolates Triggers ‘V-Waste Guilt’

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:23:29 +0000

As someone who spends quite a bit of time with sustainability professionals, I try to minimize my own environmental footprint.  So it was a bummer earlier this week when my efforts to be a good husband and green-minded consumer generated unwanted V-waste.  My Valentine’s Day shopping routine was disrupted because the New York City jewelry and chocolate stores where I routinely bought gifts had both recently closed, presumably the victims of steep midtown Manhattan rent hikes. Rather than undocking a Citibike and pedaling a mile or two to buy a pound of delicious Leonidas Belgian chocolates on Madison Avenue, I was forced to procure Valentine’s goodies through the chocolatier’s website.  In the process, I lost out on a miniature cardio workout and added a cardboard outer box, wrapping paper and two pieces of molded polystyrene packaging to the waste stream.  With that V-waste guilt fresh in my mind the morning after Valentine’s Day, Amazon’s sustainability chief took the stage at the annual GreenBiz Forum in Phoenix to proudly display some of the e-tailing giant’s accomplishments. Kara Hurst, a former CEO of The Sustainability Consortium whose Amazon title is director, Worldwide Sustainability & Social Responsibility, said her two years of work to reduce packaging waste was starting to pay dividends at Amazon, which logged a staggering $44 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone.  While sales are diversified and include enterprise web hosting and movie, music and e-book rentals, the growth of Amazon’s e-commerce business is having a profound impact on bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as the environment.  To cope with the demand, Amazon is opening dozens of regional fulfillment center and is even assembling its own fleet of “Prime Air” Boeing cargo jets to gain more control of delivery logistics. At GreenBiz, Hurst acknowledged having “massive sustainability impacts” as Amazon saw a 25 percent gain in e-commerce versus the traditional retail sector’s modest 6 percent gain. She pointed to “frustration-free packaging” that encourages manufacturers to eliminate clamshells and shrink-wrap packaging that consumers find too frustrating to open (see “wrap rage” video).  Printing on cardboard boxes has also been discouraged, allowing for easier recycling and reuse.  Items like diapers and paper towels are being dispatched au natural, with a shipping label slapped on the manufacturer’s original packaging rather than atop an exterior carton. Demonstrating the impact even a new initiative can have inside a company as large as Amazon, Hurst’s status report revealed: 1.1 million products have been certified as “frustration-free packaging” or “shipped in own container.” 165 million cardboard “overboxes” have been conserved More than 1 million trees were saved, 546,000 in 2016 alone In the New York City apartment building where my family lives, a steady stream of couriers from UPS, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, FreshDirect and Amazon Prime now outnumber deliveries from local pizzerias and delis.  An overwhelming number of boxes are crushed for recycling. But Amazon has distinguished itself as environmentally aware with its new AmazonFresh food delivery service, which uses bright green reusable insulated bags. My daughter Libby, a freshman mechanical engineering student, has long groused about Amazon packaging waste.  Her contention is that durable cartons -- constructed from recycled materials – could replace cardboard overboxes and get backhauled to Amazon for reuse.  Based on Hurst’s progress update at GreenBiz, I am convinced Amazon is keenly aware of my V-waste guilt and that my daughter and her friends are environmentally judgmental consumers.  [...]

‘Transformative Power of Transparency’ Tops on New GRI Chief’s Agenda

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:59:05 +0000

Unlike another world leader who is one month into his new job, Tim Mohin has heralded his new administration at GRI by kicking off a global listening tour.

A veteran sustainability officer at tech giants like AMD, Apple and Intel, Mohin has yet to issue any sweeping executive orders.  He took his roadshow to Phoenix this week for the “GRI Reporters’ Summit” and received input from companies using the Global Reporting Initiative’s standards to keep stakeholders briefed on environmental, social and governance issues.

“I know that reporting can be a positive force for change,” said Mohin, who also worked as a section chief for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier in his career. “I believe in the transformative power of transparency.”

Amsterdam-based GRI is used by nearly three quarters of all companies issuing sustainability reports.  Yet the 20-year-old nonprofit faces new entrants proposing alternative reporting models.

During his first public speech since being selected as GRI’s CEO, Mohin acknowledged a “fragmented and burdensome” collection of reporting methodologies -- characterizing it as a “confusing morass” – and vowed to work toward “harmonizing all of the frameworks.”

GRI took one step in that direction last fall by pledging to work with the United Nations Global Compact to shape public reporting of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

“We have companies today with revenues larger than the GDP of some countries,” Mohin said, adding that reporting is one tangible way the private sector can demonstrate progress in sustainable development.

Among goals outlined by Mohin during his session was improved use of technology in sustainability reporting, allowing consumers to access data in formats beyond PDFs.

“What are we getting for our massive investment in time?” he asked, pledging to work toward answering the question.

Mohin, who spoke ahead of the annual GreenBiz Forum for sustainability officers in Phoenix, said companies should be guided by the four Cs of reporting: concise, consistent, comparable and current.

Check back later this week for additional updates from the GreenBiz event.

Everyday is Earth Day for Minneapolis Media Focused on Sustainability

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 21:24:42 +0000

Unlike many cities where Sunday newspaper readership has tanked, plenty of Minneapolis residents still treasure delivery of a chunky Star Tribune as part of their weekend routine. “It’s our meal ticket,” Business Editor Thom Kupper said of the 580,000-circulation Sunday edition during a 3BL Media event for sustainability communicators. Those pitching Minnesota’s largest daily need to understand that the “digital first” mantra adhered to by print outlets in some markets does not apply for his team.  Kupper, whose business reporting team numbers 17, is continually seeking ideas for 1,000-word Sunday enterprise stories dealing with meaty topics. Some, like a piece on 3M’s focus on sustainability as a human resources strategy to recruit Millennials, have come from savvy PR pros. “The best stories always have some conflict or tension in them,” said Kupper, adding that Sunday’s longer business feature stories usually generate more online clicks, tweets, Facebook comments and social sharing than the breaking news and other content generated by his team. With no Star Tribune reporter assigned to cover corporate social responsibility or sustainability as a distinct beat, Kupper said pitches should go to the staffer specializing in industry sectors: Kristen Painter for food, Tom Meersman for agriculture, Mike Hughlett for energy, and Dee Depass for manufacturing, for example. Business columnist Lee Schafer should be considered for pitches on corporate citizenship topics, said Kupper, though he cautioned that Schafer’s take on a topic doesn’t always jibe with a brand or agency’s preconceived story flow. “Some people are afraid of that because you don’t know what his opinion will be,” said Kupper. Joining Kupper at the 3BL Media event was a familiar voice on Minnesota Public Radio newscasts, climate change reporter Elizabeth Dunbar, who left little doubt about what she likes and what’s off limits for pitches. “I couldn’t care less about your earnings and profits,” she cautioned, backing off just a tad by saying she’d reconsider if companies begin disclosing sustainability gaps and gains alongside their financials in their quarterly reports. “Don’t even think about pitching me an Earth Day story,” she cautioned. “For environmental reporters, Earth Day is every day.” The Minneapolis-based Dunbar is a former Associated Press reporter whose MPR environmental beat is also staffed by Dan Kraker in Duluth and Dan Gunderson in Moorhead.  Their reporting on water is partly underwritten by a McKnight Foundation grant.  Earth Day is not alone in the list of pet peeves for Dunbar, who says “invented days” or months dedicated to a particular cause are “like the worst news peg ever.” Similarly, companies receiving awards for their achievements in CSR or sustainability may want to seek on-air congratulations elsewhere.  Dunbar says it is hard for a journalist to truly vet the significance or underlying process behind an award. Despite strong opinions of what not to pitch, Dunbar urged communicators to engage around policy issues. “It’s not always about your story. It’s about sharing your expertise,” she said, playing an audio clip from an MPR story she produced about Ecolab embracing the circular economy.                                                       Many brands have found success producing their own sustainability stories and sharing the digital content via their online and social platforms, and the 3BL Media network. “We use 3BL a lot,” said Catherine Gunsbury, director of sustainability and transparency for General Mills, describing the blogs she and her team distribute through 3BL Media to reach a global audience. “Stakeholders want to know more about who we are and what we stand for,” Gunsbury said as she outlined the General Mills philo[...]

Election Weighs Heavily as Sustainable Business Execs Gather in DC

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 15:30:29 +0000

Congress returned to work Monday for a lame duck session following last week’s election. Today, hundreds of corporate social responsibility (CSR) executives head to Washington hoping their sustainable business missions are not up-ended by a Donald Trump presidency. The elephant in the room at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's 2016 Corporate Citizenship Conference is whether campaign rhetoric turns into policy, and whether business leaders will stay the course on ambitious social impact and environmental initiatives. I will be attending the conference, themed “Progress and Purpose,” and will provide updates for 3BL Media during the two-day event. Here’s a link to the agenda, which can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #USCCFPurpose. Business associations and NGOs have been messaging their post-election positions over the past week. Among the first to chime in was the National Association of Manufacturers, which published a letter signed by 1,000 members within hours of Trump’s 3 a.m. acceptance speech.  “Manufacturers expect our newly elected leaders to worry less about the powerful political extremes and concern themselves solely with solutions that will lift all Americans up and leave no one behind,” the trade group wrote. “This election makes clear that Americans agree that manufacturing is the nation’s priority. They want our industry to lead the world and create more jobs. They know that when manufacturing is strong, America is strong. It will be up to us to channel that enthusiasm towards the right policies." Aron Cramer, president and CEO of BSR, the nonprofit group formerly known as Business for Social Responsibility, took a different tack, distributing a statement via 3BL Media that called the Trump election an “earthquake.” “For many of us, this is deeply unsettling. Quite apart from partisan political views, we have seen a disturbing level of disrespect for people, science, and rights. In the United States, too many of our fellow citizens feel a personal sense of vulnerability. And as I travel in Europe this week, there is also a strong sense that the United States cannot be relied upon in a way that many have taken for granted. This is heartbreaking,” Cramer wrote. “For all of us working to advance sustainable business, it would be easy to turn inward, feel defeated, or express anger. But our mission is too important to take that approach. In fact, our task now is to redouble our efforts. This is a moment to stand up and be counted,” Cramer continued. Mindy Lubber, president of the the shareholder and investor non-profit Ceres, emailed members with a plea to “Stand With Us.” “The results of this bitterly divisive election are in, and undeniably, they raise serious threats to our recent gains in advancing climate action and the clean energy economy, in the U.S. and around the world,” Lubber wrote. “From implementing the Clean Power Plan, to realizing the goals of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, to strengthening fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, hard-won victories are at risk of being undermined by the new administration and Congress.” A press release sent by the United Nations Foundation took a pro-Trump tone, highlighting U.S. participation in UN programs and pointing out that Ivanka Trump had been featured in a campaign aimed at developing American girls into global leaders and helping adolescent girls in developing countries. “Donald Trump’s election comes at a time when the world depends on American leadership more than ever to advance peace and international cooperation,” said Kathy Calvin, UN Foundation president and CEO. “With a new U.S. President and new UN Secretary-General starting in January, strong engagement at the UN remains crucial to American interests across the globe. We look forward to wor[...]

Kumquat is the New S-word

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 13:33:18 +0000

If there’s any one topic that people working in sustainability can agree, it’s that their sector has an identity problem. Acronyms abound. EHS, ESG, CSR and CR are just a few. There are professionals who feel that Social Purpose or Shared Value address both human rights and environmental issues. But just as many execs are solidly in the Sustainability camp.  Joel Makower, the winning author and chairman of GreenBiz Group, says that the kids he interacts with will invariably describe the world they want to live in using sustainability language but without using “the S word.” “We may be messaging it wrong,” Makower told attendees of BSR Conference Thursday in New York.  “Replace the word sustainability. Just call it kumquat,” added the co-author of Makower’s latest book, retired U.S. Marine Col. Mark Mykleby, tongue firmly in cheek. Regardless of how programs are labeled, big brands that are committed to connecting their core values with the world are sought out for inspiration and advice at events like BSR, which was attended by some 1,000 companies, NGOs and consultants.  At PayPal, the digital and mobile payment company that spun off from eBay in 2015, management looked at the unique assets of the business and determined how the technology, workforce, merchants and user base could drive forward the vision of better financial health, said Sean Milliken, head of global social innovation for the San Jose-based company. “PayPal is living its values.  Everything we do under our social innovation agenda is really tied to that purpose,” said Milliken, whose work includes partnerships with Kiva and Village Capital along with an annual holiday “Giving Tuesday” event that last year broke the Guinness World Record for most money raised online for charity in 24 hours ($45.8 million). What was once strictly a payment platform, PayPal has expanded into a money transfer mechanism used globally to send money to loved ones around the world, said Milliken, adding that the lower rates create more capital for users and back tie to the United Nations’ Global Goals. The PayPal “Humble Bundle” program allows users to select the cause of their choice to make donations online, with 100 percent of the funds going to the charity. “We put the emphasis on consumer choice.  The last thing we want to do is to tell you what organization you should care about,” said Milliken, adding that PayPal’s technology can quickly emphasize urgent needs for funding. After the recent Nepal earthquake, $19 million in relief was raised through the channel. When some BSR attendees questioned whether there is a downside to communicating about corporate citizenship work, Milliken urged transparency. “You lead with information that is genuine and is relevant to who you are as a company,” he said.  “I don’t think you need to be hesitant at all. In fact, you should lean into it.” [...]