Today’s guest is Peter Shankman, perhaps most well-known for founding HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which he then sold to Vocus. Peter has a new book coming out in April called Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over–and Collaboration Is In.
In a lot of ways, the theme of Peter’s book is something we have discussed many times on this show. The episode we did with Havas Global CEO David Jones comes to mind when we discussed his book, Who Cares Wins. This was also echoed when we spoke with Edelman’s Carol Cone. The era of Gordon Gekko is over.
Peter’s key takeaway? People, your customers, want to do business with nice companies, and that translates to how companies treat the environment and how they treat their employees. Customers are taking a stand and will support nice companies over less responsible ones. The last numbers on this I read were in the Edelman Good Purpose study and almost 80% of customers will choose the more responsible or cause-focused brand over one that is not that way. The best part is that these companies are discovering that ‘being nice’ and ‘being responsible’ grows their bottom line. Seems like a win-win to me.
Of course, according to Shankman, there’s one more bonus to this behavior. He shares:
“Companies, screw up, they screw up all the time. It’s not a question of if your company will screw up, it’s a matter of when. So what you want is to have a good attitude and to be a good company with good stewardship and good management that takes responsibility for your actions all the time so that when you do screw up, your customers do come back to you and they are not running away in fear. They say, ‘you know what? everyone screws up and we are willing to give them another chance’ as opposed to the company who is go, go, go, kill, kill, kill. The one time they do screw up, they don’t really have that bag of saving grace.”
Peter goes on to share many more specific tips to brands and brand manager with recent real world examples. He also offers his thoughts on entrepreneurship and reveals the thing that drove him to start his own business. Tune in below, on iTunes or check us out on Stitcher.
[Lead Image via The Inquisitor]