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The Centre has offices in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) and has an associate in Hong Kong. The Centre’s team manages activities, research and peer-to-peer networks across the Asia Pacific region

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs is the only entity of its type internationally, connecting, via corporate membership, the corporate public affairs function in Australia, Asia, New Zealand and across the world. We work in the Asia Pacific to assist our member organisations embrace best practice public affairs structures, strategies, approaches and modus operandi.

Our research, professional development programs, events and international thought leadership opens doors to help organisations and practitioners build and apply corporate public affairs as a core management tool and function.

The Centre is the organisation for professionals working in corporate environments in government affairs, media and stakeholder relations, corporate social responsibility/corporate citizenship, issues management, internal communications and reputation management. We are also developing a Chapter of the Centre for public sector organisations and agencies with public affairs management functions.

Our regular professional development offerings and connection events to bring the profession together have been cited as best practice internationally.

McDonald’s Twitter campaign hijackedND


Tim Bradshaw and Alan Rappeport, Financial Times, 24 January 2012

In the latest example of how social media marketing can backfire, McDonald’s recent Twitter campaign was high jacked by opponents whose critical tweets forced the company to shutdown its Twitter account. McDonald’s had bought two promoted tweets from Twitter’s emerging advertising system thinking customers would share positive stories about their experiences at McDonald’s. Instead, most commentary responses were hostile. The company had a contingency plan in case of an event like this and responded quickly by closing the account to minimise increased reputational damage. For more information, see www.ft.com

Big brands can be inept at defusing blog storms over recalls ND


Bernhard Warner, The Washington Post, 7 March 2010

Big brands must be prepared to respond to concerned consumer and media groups as product recall hysteria continues to sweep the US. Traditional issues management approaches, such as hiring professional spokespeople, media coaching executives or remaining silent on an issue are no longer effective in the age of social media and online activism. Companies must use their existing online channels to speak with and respond to their stakeholders. For more information see www.washingtonpost.com

Unethical companies suffer in the long runND


Sophia Grene, Financial Times, 12 October 2008

A company’s share price is negatively affected by bad publicity on environmental and social issues. Companies require more information on the relevant sustainability issues in order to decrease reputational risk. One example is HSBC Global Markets’ climate change research facilitation program, which allows managers to research climate change issues. For more information see www.ft.com

Issues Management : Reading the outlook with an Issues Barometer N


Wayne Burns(Vol. 18 No. 3)

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Preserving corporate reputationND


Nic Paton, Management Issues, 12 December 2007

A study by The Conference Board argues that boards need to discuss and understand the nature of reputation risk within the context of wider risk, its response to reputation risks and create a culture of risk awareness. Accordingly, boards can implement robust programs and initiatives to protect reputation and manage any material event that may affect stakeholder relations. For more information, see www.management-issues.com

Corporate coaches emerge to make some differenceND


Geoff Allen, The Age, 27 July 2006

Geoff Allen, Chairman of the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, discusses new approaches by business to manage social and political issues. Managers are under increasing pressure with demands for more transparency and voice, growing distrust of business, more sophisticated media, and the emergence of shareholder activists and special interest groups. Businesses have responded by adopting issues management processes, changing thinking and practice around stakeholders, using corporate social investment for deeper strategic purposes and paying a lot more attention to business reputation. For more information see www.theage.com.au

Public affairs at heart of corporate strategyN


Centre for Corporate Public Affairs(Vol. 16 No. 2 )

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Big guns fired up as battle for hearts and minds escalatesND


Tom Stevenson, Telegraph UK, 11 May 2006

The growing public distrust of major corporations has resulted in two types of responses: (1) an attempt to win the hearts of the public by demonstrating corporate values, integrity and highlighting CSR programs (2) fighting back against what Wal-Mart’s CEO calls a ‘constant barrage of negatives.’ Public distrust has been spurred on by films such as Supersize Me, The Constant Gardener and Fahrenheit 9/11, while future releases such as Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ has put industries on a pre-emptive defense. Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes asserts that business is not truly trusted, stating that businesses ‘only have ourselves to blame’ and that the time has come to communicate the values of the corporation, what they are doing and why they are doing it. For more information, see www.telegraph.co.uk

Slave chocolate?ND


Deborah Orr, Forbes, 24 April 2006

Nestlé faces criticism from opposition groups who claim that the company uses child slave labour in chocolate manufacturing. A lawsuit has been filed against Nestlé and commodity traders Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill for breach of international laws concerning child labour. Nestlé has previously faced public scrutiny over the sale of infant formula, and is a popular target for anti-corporation groups because of its size. While Nestlé won the legal battle over the infant formula issue, the opposition groups gained much publicity. In recent years Nestlé has focused on improving its image, and has implementing programs such as assisting South American dairy farmers to improve yields and providing HIV medication to employees in Africa. Despite this, it continues to face new charges and ongoing lawsuits. For more information, see www.forbes.com

McDonald’s chips away at image as poor employerND


Andrew Taylor, Financial Times, 20 April 2006

McDonalds faces criticism following the release of a book (‘Generation X: tales for an accelerated culture’) that comments on ‘McJobs’. In response, McDonalds UK has launched a poster campaign with the slogan ‘Not bad for a McJob’ to correct the ‘misconception’ about its employer performance. The company hopes this campaign will reduce the gap between the external perception and internal reality of working for McDonalds. In the UK, McDonalds employs 78,000 workers, with 80% of senior workers and 20% of franchise owners beginning their careers at McDonalds as crew members. Working conditions have resulted in the company being recognised by Investors in People, an independent body which sets and measure employment standards, giving McDonalds a profile award last year. For more information, see www.ft.com

Soft drink makers in voluntary ban on advertisingND


Raphael Minder and Andrew Ward, Financial Times, 25 January 2006

Soft drink manufacturers in Europe announced a voluntary ban on advertising to children and undertaking commercial activities in primary schools, following concerns about links between advertising and obesity. The industry had been under pressure to toughen self-regulation or face legislation. Many soft drink companies already had a voluntary agreement in place, though this new code of practice is to be implemented by all members of Unesda, the association of European non-alcoholic drinks. For more information, see www.ft.com

The frustrated will to act for public goodND


Alison Maitland, Financial Times, 25 January 2006

A McKinsey Quarterly survey of over 4,000 executives in 116 countries found that many are dissatisfied with the way companies anticipate social and political challenges. Only three percent say companies are doing a good job at this, while many suggest companies are using the wrong tactics. For example, while half of the executives point to use of media and public relations to manage challenges, only 35 percent consider this to be effective. This is the same with lobbying of government and regulators. One measure both used and regarded as effective is use of industry coalitions. Tactics that are seen to be effective (but not used enough) are implementation of policies on issues such as ethics and the environment, involving stakeholders such as NGOs, and transparency about product risks and processes. For more information, see www.ft.com

Order in the court of public opinionN


Burns, Wayne(Vol. 15 No. 4 2005)

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How to exit from a community partnership: reputation and management issues for practitionersN


Badcoe, Carey(Vol. 15 No. 3 2005)

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Nike out of the blocks after three-year silenceN


Pedersen, Wes(Vol. 15 No. 3 2005)

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Issuing the challenge - naming and framing issues in civil societiesN


Mahon, John(Vol. 15 No. 2 2005)

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Issues Management Presentation by Professor John MahonRP



Presentation slides on Issues Management from a Centre workshop, featuring visiting academic Professor John Mahon, Professor of Management and International Business Strategy and Policy, Business School, University of Maine.
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Journal of Public Affairs: an International Journal (Volume 5, No. 2, May 2005) L


various (John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex)
A journal which provides a forum for professional and academic debate about the future development of public affairs. ACADEMIC PAPERS: Issues management, systems, and rhetoric: exploring the distinction between ethical and legal guidelines at Enron; The evolution of a campaign: tracking press coverage and party press releases through the 2001 UK General Election; Advance Australia fair? Anatomy and pathology of an 84-year trade dispute; Towards a lobbying profession: developing the industry’s reputation, education and representation; More than one bite of the cherry: a study of UK grocery retailers’ attempts to influence the retail planning policy-making process: Building the firm’s political (lobbying) strategy. COMMENTARY: Austria and Sweden: facts and impressions from emerging markets. BOOK REVIEW: Research guide to US and International Interest Groups Held in Journal sequence.

Shared history, experience and practice: different structureN


(Vol.14 No.2 2004)

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A Global perspective on Issues Management Best PracticeRP



This paper is recommended by the US issues Management Council, presided over by John Mahon, Professor of Management and Chair of the International Business Policy and Strategy Unit at the Maine Business School, University of Maine. The paper 'promotes acceptance and understanding of an evolving universal concept of issue management as a strategic and tactical competency of leadership companies.' It is available through the website of the Issues Management Council.
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About The Centre

The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs is the only entity of its type internationally, connecting, via corporate membership, the corporate public affairs and communication function across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. We assist our members embrace best practice public affairs structure and strategies.

Our research, professional development programs, events and international thought leadership opens doors to help organisations and practitioners build and apply corporate public affairs as a core management tool and function.

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