Amy Terpeluk on authenticity and transparency in corporate communications - Kathy Varol
amy terpeluk
August 30, 2023   |   Episode #: 063

Amy Terpeluk on authenticity and transparency in corporate communications

Show Notes:

Amy Terpeluk leads the CSR & Social Impact Practice at FINN Partners, a values-based marketing and communications agency. FINN Partners helps brands share their stories in ways that drive business value and make a positive impact in the world. Amy has created initiatives in education, DEI, public health, economic inequality, sustainability, climate change, and veterans’ well-being.

Amy also helped launch the NO MORE Foundation, a global campaign galvanizing greater awareness to end domestic and sexual violence and continues to serve on its board of directors.


In this episode we discuss:
✅ The process FINN Partners uses to help clients assess the potential risks and rewards of publicly taking a stance on an issue
✅ The importance of authenticity and transparency in corporate communications
✅ The impact of company and employee value alignment


3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!):
1️⃣ Authenticity is an inside job—for a person and for a company. It means being clear on your values and acting in alignment with them. It means standing up for what you believe in, as well as standing up for yourself. It means staying true to your values, regardless of the pressures you are under to act otherwise.

2️⃣ One litmus test for corporate authenticity is to ensure that what your company says externally is in alignment with how your company shows up internally (i.e. how your company treats its employees). For example, if your company says they stand behind equality externally,  make sure they stand behind equality internally.

Ask questions. Here are two examples: has your company ensured that pay and benefits are equal across gender and race within each salary level; has your company instituted hiring practices to remove cognitive bias?

3️⃣ When a company has strong values, it’s easier to navigate an unexpected PR crisis. When values are referred back to habitually, and used in daily decision making, the shared knowledge of what decisions are right for your company grows across the organization. That means, when hard decisions come your way (as they inevitably will) deciding what to do becomes a little less hard. Values make it easier to land on a clear direction even in the middle of a storm.

One classic example of values in action is the Tylenol recall of  1982,  after capsules laced with cyanide killed 7 people in Chicago. The Johnson & Johnson CEO at the time, James Burke, credited the Johnson & Johnson Credo—their company value statement—to helping navigate the crisis, and giving him “the ammunition to persuade shareholders and others to spend the $100 million on the recall.” A move that would name him as one of history’s most outstanding CEO’s. (Read more on that crisis here.)



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