For years, the primary value attributed to global corporations has been their size to create profitable growth and satisfied shareholders. Today, global corporations have a responsibility to a variety of stakeholders: employees, investors, suppliers, customers, governments. And given their size, major multinational corporations like PepsiCo have to be conscious of the impact we have on the world, locally and globally.
Today, global massive scale, significant resources and highly refined competencies continue to be defining assets for multinational corporations. However, the way these assets are being used has changed, as a range of local stakeholders are increasingly interfacing with corporations in multifaceted ways and are highly focused on the health and safety of our products and services, care of the environment and treatment of employees.
Exercising globally-based resources and expertise to meet—and even exceed—the high expectations of local stakeholders in these areas has become crucial to corporate reputation and ultimately, business results. And in today’s interconnected world where anyone can broadcast their message, local influencers have an outsize impact that can extend globally. That’s why a “glocal” approach to stakeholder engagement and communications is so important.
Whether it’s a group of mom bloggers in the U.S. concerned about healthy products for their children, a micro-finance entity supporting water infrastructure in China or anyone in between, the common thread is that global corporations are being held to a higher standard. No longer are they classified as businesses, but rather, as corporate citizens.
According to Edelman’s latest goodpurpose study, 86 percent of Americans believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interest as those on business. Nearly two-thirds feel that it is no longer enough for corporations to simply give money to good causes; they need to integrate them into their day-to-day business. It’s clear: the modern corporation thrives financially by serving society responsibly.
By engaging with stakeholders, particularly in the three areas of greatest importance to them, today’s global corporation will earn goodwill. The critical element is that this is authentic engagement—reflecting the corporation’s belief that what is good for society is good for business.
Today, and even more so in the future, the global model is a guiding communications and operating principle—addressing shareholders and stakeholders alike—at multinational corporations like PepsiCo.
Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer
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