Issue 02/2016 Asia Pacific

The Unwritten Contract

This issue of Communication Director looks at the social licence to operate. Examples of lost social licences abound, from Shell in the Niger Delta, BP in the Gulf of Mexico, dam building in Myanmar to the GMO debate in Europe. In this issue, we look at how digital giants like Google and Facebook struggle with legitimacy: their size and ubiquity, not to mention our fears about data security, obliges them to constantly apply for the licence to operate. Winning the social licence is harder to define: in this issue, Simone Niven shares some case studies from Rio Tinto’s work with local communities directly affected by its mining activities, including Aboriginal people in Western Australia, while Chris Ettery relates how risk mitigation was one of several approaches taken by Lafarge’s stakeholder engagement. But social licence doesn’t just belong to companies. It also applies to professions, among them communications and public relations. In an age of spin, greenwashing, and budget restraints, how do communicators stake their claim to validity, and ensure that their work is fuelled by purpose? That’s another question posed in this issue of Communication Director.

PR Essentials

Key aspects of communication and PR

Agenda setter

Communication ideas in the eyes of experts

In the aftermath of a terrorist attack, communicating the message of business as usual brings back tourists. But what are the factors that influence tourists’ perceptions and the recovery of visitor numbers?


The full spectrum of the communicator's portfolio

Communications for technology and technology for communications: a chicken-or-egg scenario.

Communication directors can and should influence senior management to make human rights part of the company strategy.

When it comes to consumer perceptions of authenticity, companies must move beyond big brand promises and platitudes and be as they wish to be seen. Research from FleishmanHillard reveals how companies operating in Asia can engage authentically.

How one company transformed itself into a mobile leader in a country where social networking and connectivity is a way of life.

Companies that are recognised with ‘most admired’ reputation status by their industry peers have a higher proportion of female leaders. New research reveals how gender parity drives corporate reputation.

How world leaders are blazing a trail in social media.

Forget big data: small data reveals surprising insights into behaviours inside and outside the organisation

To mark the Latin-American Excellence Awards – hosted by Communication Director – we asked four jury members to share their insights into the corporate communications landscape of this diverse region.

How global executives deal with today’s reputational risks and opportunities.


Key communicators under the spotlight

The general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation on the fight for a better business world

Issue focus

Looking at the important questions of communication

From diamond mines in Canada to copper-gold mines in Mongolia, Rio Tinto makes local community engagement a top priority.

Origins and evolution of the social licence to corporate success.

As companies come under pressure from stakeholders to improve their environmental and social performance to ensure they retain their social licence to operate, communicators are helping to promote the shift from traditional CSR to CSV: Creating Shared Value.

Difficult to obtain and equally difficult to retain, winning the licence to operate requires a carefully-targeted stakeholder approach. The question is, which one to choose?

Despite – or because – of their ubiquity, even digital market giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon run the risk of losing their social licence.

In order to achieve the social licence to operate, engaging local communities and identifying risks are must-dos.

What does the social licence to operate mean to you?

Private passions

What makes corporate communicators tick?

Marty Filipowski on the perseverance of the long-distance swimmer