5 Key Anti-Trends For 2013

As the New Year turns, pundits with crystal balls seem to come out of hiding. Trend prognostications are everywhere: Top-ten this, top-ten that—whether it’s marketing, health or technology, every subject gets its due. It’s a phenomenon that’s closely related to another annual, self-reflection ritual: New Year’s resolutions. Reading top trends makes us feel smart and virtuous—kind of like the mental equivalent of a new gym membership.

The CSR trends that defined 2012

Corporate social responsibility is officially mainstream. Long gone are the days when CSR was a bolt-on initiative or a one-person, siloed corporate function.

Now recognized as a viable business strategy, CSR is increasingly a way for brands to differentiate themselves and engage critical stakeholders. And, more and more, consumers use CSR as a lens through which to view brands, and as a deciding factor in whether they will buy from, work for, or support an organization. 2012 saw some game-changing trends that define this new era in CSR.

Tip Sheet: Green Or Shades of Grey? A Green Guides Primer

Communicators continue to struggle with how and when to articulate green attributes. Exaggerated claims and complex issues have created challenges for PR professionals. Terms such as “recyclable” and “recycled” are often misunderstood. “Compostable” and “biodegradable” are interchanged. And, reductions of materials like paper and others are often taken out of context or not communicated in a way that’s easily understood.

Why Pepsi Canned The Refresh Project

After years of attention, interest and fanfare, earlier this year Pepsi let its much-vaunted social impact initiative, the Pepsi Refresh Project, quietly fizzle away. Today, if you try to find the project’s website, www.refresheverything.com, you’ll be redirected to the Pepsi brand site, where you’ll encounter the amped-up marketing blitz, “Live for Now,” a heavily entertainment-focused campaign that puts Pepsi back on familiar ground: the glitz and glam of pop culture.

Proof of Purpose: The Future of CSR

Today's global business environment is a blur of stakeholder demands, increasing expectations and competitive hurdles. No longer a niche initiative, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gone mainstream. And with the growth of CSR programs comes the rise of stakeholder expectations. According to the newly released 2012 Cone Communications Corporate Social Return Trend Tracker, 84 percent of Americans hold companies accountable for producing and communicating the results of CSR commitments. Purpose cannot stand alone - stakeholders demand proof of impact.