My name is Maria Pavlova – a PR undergraduate-to-be at Southampton Solent University and I also used to be CIPR Wessex Representative, now just a CIPR member. I’m going to talk about a very topical and interesting issue – measuring performance and stakeholder relationships in a sustainable company. Yesterday I head a lot of debates regarding this issue including that CSR cannot be measured but judged. I also heard discussions regarding CSR reporting, supplier and employee engagement and greenwashing. All these issues are quite relevant to my case study company and previously I’ve done other research projects related to all these issues which I’d like to talk about if I had time but will have to skip....Anyway, with my paper I’m offering a way of Measuring Performance. I don’t have Management but Comms background and I’m not happy to say that most companies and PR practitioners overall don’t measure and evaluate enough or don’t do it at all which is sad because in my opinion research, measurement and evaluation are of greatest importance – you get them right and your program will be right too. CSR and performance measurement are emerging fields, especially in the marine industry which makes them interesting to explore. My case study is not just another Body shop-a company that is well known for being green. it’s actually a company that operates in a really unethical industry – container shipping, which makes this paper interesting in my opinion. It’s the first marine company to integrate sustainability into its business strategy. It’s the biggest container shipping company by fleet in the world caring 15% of international marine trade – it’s Maersk Line
Container shipping and the marine industry overall are quite “invisible” – not so many people think of how the stuff they buy are being transported. Do you? That was one of the reasons why i chose Maersk Line as a case study – because they’ve been doing a great job in terms of CSR even though they can actually afford not to do much because activists don’t really target them . Plus, the marine industry hasn’t really changed its operational model for more than 50 years, we have here a representative of this industry and maybe later he can tell us a bit more about that Choosing Maersk Line is also a good way of testing the newly introduced PR measurement and evaluation framework – the Barcelona Principles and the VMM – Valid Metrics Matrix and see if they actually work and if they can be applied everywhere – even to industries with specific requirements. Measurement is the “boring stuff” in PR and sadly enough it’s often missing in communication programs. Maybe that’s why the industry is generally seen as just spin But i believe that this new framework could be the backbone of adding more credibility to the PR industry. The VMM don’t offer all the solutions but it’s a baseline to start from and it gives you the guidelines of how good should look like. And before i love to the next slide I have a quick question: What’s the overal global environmental impact of the international marine transportation?
Actually the International Maritime Industry has a positive environmental story to tell! Again, I’m not gonna go into detail because this is a massive field to explore
Container shipping has a potential of becoming a key driver in improving the environmental footprint of the commercial world. International Marine industry carries 90% of the global trade and container shipping carries more than one third of it which makes it a big contributor to global environmental emissions. But again, the percentage is quite small compared to other industries’.A cargo plane will emit 20-50 times more CO2than a container ship over the same distance with the same weight of cargo. A truck will pollute 3-5 times more. And a small car will emit 18 times more CO2than a container vessel to travel only one-thousandth of the same distance. Again, I’m not gonna go into detail because there is no time.
So, Maersk Line realized the great potential the industry has of becoming green. The good news is that they went beyond compliance and became pioneers in marine CSR forcing IMO and the whole industry to follow their example. They also realized the benefits of it. During researching an obvious question aroused: did they do it because they simply wanted to be good? Well, I’m realistic about it plus they don’t hide it. I don’t have time to talk more about my methodology but during my research I surveyed end users to see how aware of the marine industry they are; I had the opportunity to look at Maersk Group’s global intranet; I also made focus groups and interviews with industry specialists from different levels and units in Maersk – from people being offshore in different units of Maersk all around the world (Maersk operate in 130 different countries), to people working in Svitzer, to Maersk Line’s Head of Climate and Sustainability Jacob Sterling, to their Senior director SorenStig, to CEOs of rival companies, to scholars from Maritime Academies like Warsash, to maritime students. I’ve been also following all their initiatives since 2008 and i was happy to notice how much more end-user and customer friendly and transparent they became, you can see their webpage if you have time, and I had a big discussion going on onlinkedin (it’s still there, you can have a look) regarding this issue and I can say that initially the whole Maersk Group went green to reduce costs. the severe economic climate forced all sectors to find a way of reducing their costs and Maersk found their way in becoming green. I think there is nothing bad in that plus in the end of the day business cares about profits and I think it’s great if business and CSR go together and in my opinion Maersk deserves admirations because they’ve been doing great job. I don’t have time to talk more about all things they’ve been doing but you can have a look at their 2009 annual report and other brochures I got when I visited them. I was invited again by their Senior director of Sustainability so soon I will get the 2010 one
What if the shipping industry was known for beating environmental expectations – not struggling to meet them
This is a very simplified view of how PR and the VMM work – I will just briefly explain because I dont have time. I got this figure from a presentation by AMEC and I think they missed making it a two-way communication model but anyway this works too.
So this is the VMM – as you can see it is based on the previous model which you can see here. Again, it doesn’t provide all the ways of measuring because every communication campaign has its specific requirements but it’s the backbone template that should be used. And it is logical: a successful campaign aims at behavioural change – not only at creating buzz and awareness! This is what distinguishes a good PR campaign from a bad one: the behavioural change. Everybody can create awareness but it’s the behavioural change in target markets that makes the difference. And how do we know our campaign did a good job? By constant ongoing measurement! I don’t have the newly introduced PR campaign model but I can maybe draw it somewhere? It starts with where are we now? Where do we want to go? How are we gonna go there? Did we get there? And at every stage an ongoing measurement should be done. So, we want to move our stakeholders from the awareness grid, to knowledge, to interest, to preference and eventually to action. And we can apply that to different comms programs: from reputation building, to employee engagement etc.
The measurement tools that should be used to prove the shift from awareness to knowledge, to interest, to support are most of the time obvious and usually overlap even though each program has its specific requirements and therefore the tools may vary. So, it’s more or less easy to prove the shift from Awareness to Preference. And here it’s where becomes tricky: how do we prove behavioural change? According to the VMM we can prove it by looking at an increase in sales, market share, share price etc. But I tend to critisize that and I will give you an example. Last year Maersk reported a record – breaking net profit despite the though economic climate. They also did fantastic job in terms of CSR and won a lot of awards. In contrast, this year Maersk Line didn’t do very well and the Group saved itself thanks to Maersk Drilling and Maersk Oil. On the other hand, Maersk Line has improved so much in terms of CSR – they are more transparent to end users and more customer-friendly as I mentioned before. I won’t go into detail because I don’t have time but here’s the thing: they became the sustainable shipping company of the year again and they won other awards proving that they did great in terms of CSR and at the same time net profit levels have dropped which is supposed to be an indicator for a shit to the final box – the action. But it seems that it is not. Some people would say that proves action but don’t you think this is support and preference? So, to conclude, I think that the Barcelona Principles and the VMM are a great platform to prove PR’s positive impact on managing reputation and I’m glad that a global PR measurement framework was introduced after more than 20 years. However, I think there are still areas in it that should and could be improved and I’m very interested in exploring this field.
Session 15, Pavlova
Introduction• Maersk Line: Blue is the new green
Container shipping carries more than one third of global trade and has only a slight contribution to global emissions - 3-4% Container shipping has a potential ofbecoming a key driver in improving the environmental footprint of the commercial world
MAERSK LINE: BLUE IS THE NEW GREENBlue is the new green: Maersk Line“We want to help the sustainability trend grow, we want to drive that demand and create solutions” Jacob Sterling, Maersk Line Head of Climate and Sustainability
A (Very) Simplified View of How PR Works • The PR professional PR Activity creates and tells the story • The story is distributed Intermediary through a third party Target • The story is consumed Audience by the target audience Business Results
Reputation Building Support/ Awareness Knowledge Interest Action Preference • Content creation • Traditional media engagementPublic Relations • Social media engagement Activity • Influencer engagement • Stakeholder engagement • Events/speeches • Audience reach • Key message • Key message • Endorsement by [traditional & social alignment alignment journalists or media] • Accuracy of facts • Frequency of influencers • Impressions/Target (positive) mentions • Rankings on Intermediary audience • Expressed opinions industry lists impressions of interest • Expressed opinions Effect • Number of articles of support or • Video views • Social network preference • Frequency Followers • Social network Fans • Prominence • Retweets/Shares/ Linkbacks • Likes • Share of voice • Sales • Unaided awareness • Knowledge of • Relevance of • Attitude change • Market share • Aided awareness company profile company (to • Uplift in reputation and offer stakeholder) drivers e.g. Trust, • Share price • Visitors to website Admiration • Talent retention andTarget Audience • Click-thru to site • Endorsement recruitment • Time spent on site • Belief in corporate • Cost savings Effect • Downloads from brand site • Links to site • Customer loyalty • Calls • Enhanced • Legislation/regulation • Event/meeting relationships with passed or blocked attendance key stakeholders 10