David Coethica's Blog

CSR – Why and what's in it for me?

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Social Innovation + CSR = #3BLchat

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Susan McPherson #3BLchatA quick date for your diaries, and a new hashtag to watch out for…

Next Tuesday, 17 December, I will be hosting the first ever #3BLchat for 3BL Media.

This 60 minute Twitter chat will see guest expert Susan McPherson explore “Social Innovation and CSR: The New Frontier”, sharing her wide experience and providing real world examples to inspire change and collaboration.

For more information about the event and our guest click here.

3BL logo #3BLchatIt would be great to see some friends Twitter profiles taking part during the event and if you can help spread the word to your networks here’s a suggested ready-made Tweet for you:

Check out: “Social Innovation & #CSR” – Tues 17 Dec, 1pm ET - http://3bl.me/9gxpzt with @3BLMedia & @susanmcp1 #3BLchat

Let me know if you have any particular questions you’d like to ask Susan and I’ll make sure we get them into the tight schedule!

I’ll be hosting the session via @3BLMedia for the event and I’ll remind people that I’ll be switching from my personal profile (@davidcoethica) just beforehand.

See you on Tuesday.

More posts to come soon…

The Most Amazing Sport You’ve Never Seen

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Who would like to support one of the most amazing sports that most people have never seen? Imagine a cross between ice hockey and 5-a-side football. Power, balance, passion and skills – all with metal sticks and a football. This is of course  a very overt request for partners to step forward.

The amputee footballers of England (and the wider UK) have been growing their own sport for some years now with only relatively superficial support. I’ve been away from the sport for too long and want to help these elite athletes and the grassroots programme that supports them.

Please take a few minutes to check out the photos and videos below and then get in touch via the links below…

I was always stunned by the lack of media / corporate support for such a photogenic sport that is pure adrenaline and poetry. Once during my spell in charge of the England team we had a media team courtesy of One 2 One (or T-Mobile as they were once called) follow us on a World Championship in Rio de Janeiro in 2005. This was during a short  period of strong commercial and governing body support as disability football was hitting a larger audience, but very little happened after the event was over, and then external support headed downhill for a while.

Much has changed since then. One of the biggest challenges was the quality of organisation at a global level but many, many more international teams now play, and grassroots participation is accelerating too. The players stepped up and took it over themselves, again, as it was in the start many years ago before the FA dabbled.

The England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) are looking to talk to any potential supporters, especially of the commercial kind to take amputee football to the next level at home and abroad. A huge opportunity on the horizon. Great timing and a great sport.

Who wants a piece of this?…

Here’s some more about the EAFA team and the players from an older video via The Guardian.

These guys have done a brilliant job of getting their sport to where it is now and all support can only accelerate a truly special sport with a bright future. Imagine being part of the bigger team when they win the World Championship? Trust me there is no better feeling and n spectacular opportunity for all partners!

For more information head over to www.theeafa.co.uk or via Twitter at @amputeefootball, use the comment section below or even get in touch directly with me and I’ll share what I know.

And as a treat for reading this far, a special goal from the 2010 World Championship Argentina v Japan game…

Being Good is Not Overrated

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Despicable-Me-PosterYes, I can muster a pretty impressive Meeeester Gru impression. My son may not agree, but hey, it makes me laugh.

Apologies for this post, but this is all about not-so-Despicable me. No offence taken at all if you click away at this point, as I need to indulge myself a little.

After seven and a half years of all things Coethica the time is ready for me to evolve. I know not what that change is specifically at this particular moment – all suggestions are very welcome from anywhere, or any sector in the world – but a new direction will be forged. Some interesting offers are being considered but for the sanity of everybody around me my main hat will at least be worn much less from this day on.

The reason for this channel of personal thinking out loud is to help clear my head and also tap into and share with some of the many amazing people and organisations I have met and shared many ideas online. I am by nature an explorer, a passionate creative nuisance intent on leaving our world better than it would have been without me.

After falling in love with the purest form of this thing called CSR (i.e. holistic, balanced and embedded – you know the one, the lesser spotted variety) about 15 years ago I’ve met leaders from global CEO’s to local start-up entrepreneurs in deprived communities that have both dazzled and depressed. I’ve set up social enterprises, supported corporates and what feels like everything in between. I’m sure there’s a couple of books in there somewhere.

I know for a fact business can change the world, most of the time it just needs giving the confidence to try harder.

This is not to say Coethica will be no more, version 2 is defined and ready to roll, it is that it needs at least somebody else at the helm. Let me know if you want to find out more and take the reins of a ready-made social business to change the world! My gift to the right person, with maybe a couple of thin strings.

It has been for the most part a lonely journey, both geographically and intellectually, setting off in 2005 to challenge and inspire the small and medium market (but not excluding the corporates) to see the benefits of all things CSR / social enterprise /’pick your ethical business buzzword’ all atop a rollercoaster of a personal life that until recently only began to give me genuine freedom to get out and begin to deliver what we had learned through years of grassroots SME and corporate ‘market research’.

Sometimes the hardest decision in the world is being honest with yourself and make that change to re-energise spiritually. My wonderful wife and wider family have supported me through some magical highs and crushing lows and I owe it to them to take a more simplified path. Spinning too many plates for too long, however impressive at the time, is a recipe for one hell of a mess of crockery, not that I’ve broken many but I’ve been close to a couple of wobblers.

In short, I’m taking a the next couple of months to explore my own future as a real person separate from Coethica – a hard task for any entrepreneur, and the options on the horizon so far just don’t feel like the right fit. So, if you or anybody you know has a challenge they need help with or a gap that needs filling, by somebody of certain unique cocktail of experiences and abilities, well, as long as it serves a greater good, my intrigue is open for discussion.

If anybody should want a more focused summary of me, give me a call (get in touch via the comments) as I like a good natter, or for the more passive / furtive out there, my LinkedIn profile is probably as good place to start as any.

And just for pure childish summer fun, here is the trailer for Despicable Me 2. Enjoy. Freeeeze Ray!

Are You A Small Business Communications Expert?

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Do you have experience in CSR, social enterprise, business advice, marketing, PR, human resources – or just about any other aspect of business operation?

Better CSR Advice for SMEsCan you offer any insight on small business CSR communications?

I’m off to Berlin next week to co-host a workshop on CSR communications at an invite only conference not-so-snappily called ‘Better CSR Advice for SMEs‘. 100 small business advisers from across the EU (only 3 from the whole UK was a surprise but I’m glad to have got one of Brussels funded Willy Wonka tickets) are preparing to gather to network, share and take away the latest practice back to their home towns.

We only have a hopeful a mere 45 minutes throughout a 24 hour event to explore what I consider to be the most important topic in the small business / CSR debate, and I’m hoping to take as much ammunition in with me as possible.

What are the key questions? What are the key answers?

 

  • How do we educate small businesses about the benefits of CSR?
  • Who should do it?
  • What are the best ways for SMEs to communicate to their boards, employees, suppliers, customers and local media?
  • What resources are available to help SMEs get their messages out?
  • What are the current communication trends to be exploited?
  • Which SMEs are already good a communicating?

 

Please head over to the blog post on the Coethica website to get the full story & submit your feedback and share this link with your networks.

 

I’ll report back after the event to share the workshop discussions.

 

 

Apple’s Ethical Watershed?

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A window of opportunity and an open letter to CEO Tim Cook.

Is it me or is the current focus on Apple’s supply chain a different tune than we’ve heard before?

For years now many from responsible business community have rumbled in frustration at Apple’s lack of commitment and often blatant avoidance of sustainability issues.  Most of these professionals have ironically also either converted to Apple Macbooks / iPhones / iPad or continued their use throughout the regular ethical issues arising. I go to a few industry conferences and they’re often more like a Halloween orchard with the amount of glowing Apple logos on show.

Let’s be honest Apple products look damn good, mostly do the job you’d expect and you can’t argue with the almost religion-like power of the brand they’ve created under the stewardship of the recently departed Steve Jobs. For full disclosure I was once an Apple fan, during my days producing copious amounts writing, media materials and marketing documents at Everton FC, before I knew better about the details of the business operation and products themselves.  I adored their fanatical ethos about providing the most simple, usable interface which is pure beauty at times, especially compared to Windows Vista and earlier incarnations. I had the usual file format sharing problems but that was nearly ten years ago and much has changed.

I am beginning to sense the sustainability sharks circling. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by davidcoethica

February 22, 2012 at 1:59 am

Coethica Social Media Test Drive

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Hi Everybody.

It’s taken a while to get here but the world has finally been introduced to the new Coethica website. We had a handful of technical problems and distractions that saw the previous site slimmed down to 2 ancient pages for far too long.

We took the decision to go live relatively early and encourage the strongest possible dialogue with all the audiences we’re aiming to engage with to constantly improve the site over the next 12 months. There are also some other improvements / pages / whole new sections / concepts to be added to the site to take it where we think it should be but allowing ourselves good time to evolve both our social media estate and our business model simultaneously.

This also means very soon I get to begin to revamp of this space, my very own wonderful blog, which at times had become a surrogate home for Coethica during the extended periods of technical disillusionment.

All suggestions for ‘myblog2.0′ welcome!

 

Please take a couple of minutes to test drive www.coethica.com, have a good look around, share the link, and send as much feedback as you can, either as a comment on here or via the contact page on the new site.

What could Coethica have done better?

 

Coethica has also added two new channels over at Google+ and Twitter. I think Google+ is going to be fun; it still needs work but I’ve seen it gain momentum from day one and it feels like it’s accelerating. G+ is a great channel, almost like an extended Twitter but better looking and with more functionality. I can see G+ quickly catching Twitter as the centre of the sustainability/CSR communication online universe – according to @FabianPattberg’s recent poll anyway.

The new Twitter account allows me, for my own sanity, to differentiate between me and the business, for Coethica to sell more, and to explore my tweet landscape a little, playing more in areas such as social innovation, technology and sport.

Click on the icons below to find the new profiles.

 

 

3BL Media Steps It Up A Gear

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Today 3BL Media proudly announced the acquisition of Justmeans.

I’m glad the news is out as I’m no good at keeping secrets!

3BL’s CEO, Greg Schneider, has a powerful entrepreneurial drive to make a commercially successful company in the niche area that CSR is, and hopefully beginning climbing away from into bigger ponds. This to me demonstrates a step change in the maturity of CSR communications specifically in the social media channels, i.e. the first substantial consolidation within a profileration of smaller news / opinion sources and portals.

I was a fan of Justmeans when it launched, and even short time CSR Editor (for a whole month) so it’s personally fulfilling for me to be so involved with the integration and future development of both organisations. The combined strengths and the additional opportunities that this deal creates will be keeping us all busy at 3BL for many months, if not years to come.

Without doubt this move consolidates the clear water lead between 3BL Media and all the other players in the CSR content distribution field. The challenging debate internally is how 3BL strategises the exploitation of the newly gained additional assets into new complimentary and profitable channels. Watch this space!

In addition to the technical assets and new client base Justmeans CEO Martin Smith joins 3BL as Chairman reinforcing the depth of the strategic management team.

The announcement of the deal has already generated a strong positive response from the online and client communities with audiences of both companies very being supportive, if maybe initially a little surprised.

My first task is to take over the reins of Justmeans’ Ethical Sourcing and Certification conference in London on September 16th. Please take a look at the microsite and get signed up for the first public event from the 3BL / Justmeans combined team.

Here’s a link to this mornings press release if you’d like more of the details.

I would be really interested in your opinions of what this market needs and how 3BL Media combined with Justmeans can service those needs?

Written by davidcoethica

July 15, 2011 at 1:22 am

Social Media, Sustainability and Transparency

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Two posts in less than a week? I must officially be an insomniac.

Tonight’s excuse is that I’m waiting for my laptop to painfully slowly back-up before setting off to Paris to take part in Societe Generale’s Citizen Act finale.

I was invited to take part in today’s Guardian’s Sustainable Business live online Q&A on ‘Using social media to communicate sustainability’.

If nothing else I’d head over that way to look at some authoritative responses from Lucy Warin (Futerra Communications) and Diana Verde Nieto (ex Clownfish Group CEO).

I really liked one particular quote from Diana (below) comparing sustainability and the digital space. Read the rest of this entry »

2011 – A Good Year for CSR Communications in Europe

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Time for a quick update on my movements in the world of CSR.

After a couple of years talking with all those friendly sorts at 3BL Media, sharing blog posts, tweets,  Skype conversations and even yours truly sat in front of a video camera for 3BL TV, we decided it was time to announce our formal engagement.

Whilst Coethica continues to grow with all involved taking more on, I will be spending the majority of my time in 2011 as European Director for 3BL Media, bringing their impressive communications platform to this side of the Atlantic.

For those who read this blog who don’t know 3BL Media, they’re the leading CSR and sustainability communications distributors. Yes, there are others out there, you know who they are but I’m not giving them any search engine kudos here, but I’ve been constantly impressed by the team at 3BL, and in particular with their ethos, focus and vision.

I’ve been fascinated for some time by the proliferation of American CSR content online and this is my way of helping Europe readdress the balance. Should I mention the Ryder Cup here? Maybe not a good idea.

So, if anybody out there in the blogosphere wants great CSR and sustainability content in all forms of media (video, audio, articles, press releases, blog posts for bloggers, news sites, networks etc) or you need to get your company’s message out the widest authoritative and engaged audience, from anywhere in Europe, I’m your man.

3BL only very recently announced a new partnership with the Global Reporting Initiative, you really should see the CSR Report special edition videos for Reuters (latest: CSR and Sustainable Retail video below), and there is much, much more coming along the pipeline soon via the USA office.

Just wait until I get started – it’s going to be fun!

 

Come and join the 3BL Media family yourself by checking out the links below:

www.3blmedia.com

3BL Media on LinkedIn

3BL Media on Facebook

3BL Media on Twitter

 

I guess there will also be a few more communications related posts heading this way as I climb up the learning curve of media distribution.

It’s a good job 3BL’s corporate colours match the shirt in my avatar ;)

Go and say hello to Greg Schneider, Cindy Esposito, Doug Fulton and all of our growing Trans-Atlantic 3BL family.

 

Small Business CSR Mistakes

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Here’s a quick list of CSR mistakes made by small businesses.

Some of the headings may sound a touch exaggerated, but trust me far worse happens in reality. Names have been with held to protect the not so innocent!

Thinking CSR isn’t for smaller businesses

I had to put his first didn’t I? Think of CSR as a lens to improve your business performance. The core principles work at every level from pre-start up to multi-national. It should be about balance, innovation and unfortunately not so common sense.

Trying to hack your electricity meter won’t reduce your carbon footprint

The old days of the colourful myths surrounding tricks to stop, or slow down mechanical electricity / water / gas meters are fading fast, but not without an element of truth behind their origins, or at least in those attempting to beat the system. The point here is that either trying to manipulate the system or passing your carbon usage onto suppliers or customers is missing the point and will boomerang back and explode at a later date – not carbon offsetting. Nothing beats robust measurement, management and reporting! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by davidcoethica

November 26, 2010 at 12:58 am

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