Thursday, May 22, 2014

Civility in Corporate America

“You and the rest of your corporate greedy cronies are destroying the country,” the recent email to me began. “Does crawling into bed with a multitude of other corporate whores feel good?”
The sender felt compelled to use that “shock jock” intro in response to my company’s POV on regulatory proceedings at the FCC. I had respectfully provided background on the issue.
The truth is, my PR job does make me feel good… because, ultimately, my job is to help my company do the right thing.
The best PR is built on the best business practices. At a recent professional event, Bob DeFillippo, Prudential’s chief communications officer, commented on what he would have done differently during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to reduce the damage to BP’s reputation. He replied, “I would have capped the well faster.”
He also said, “I never had to compromise my integrity because of concerns over profit or to avoid admitting that we did something wrong.”
I can say the same about my own career. At my company, there’s an oft-cited one-page Credo that reminds us we only have work because our customers value our services. There’s also a more-detailed Code of Conduct that outlines policies to ensure integrity and respect in our workplace.
The result? I believe there’s more mutual respect, civility and decency evident in corporate America than in general society… or even in my church parking lot.
That’s not such a bad bed to crawl into after all.

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