PRovoke Media 15 Jun 2021 // 4:05PM GMT
This is the Luminaries Mentoring Series, a video series that PRovoke Media launched in partnership with Lippe Taylor. This episode features Karen Kahn, head of corporate affairs & chief communications officer at HP, and Maureen Lippe, founder & chair, of Lippe Taylor.
The candid conversation, moderated by PRovoke Media's executive editor Aarti Shah, covers how the CCO role of the future must evolve so that communications is making corporate policy — not simply communicating it, the impact purpose is having on recruitment during a severe talent crunch, the role clients must take in holding agencies accountable around diversity, and more.
Karen Kahn on why HP added corporate affairs to communications: "Corporate affairs is a different take on corporate communications. And why that changed at HP is a recognition of moving sustainable impact, purpose and values into the communications brand. And for us, it includes everything that's around social justice: our programs around climate action, equal rights and human rights, and digital equity.
But these are not communications programs, these are actually the programs that we're doing to drive meaningful change in the way that we decarbonize our supply chain, come up with the metrics around human rights...It's less about communications and more about creating educational outcomes and healthcare outcomes and job and economic outcomes."
Maureen Lippe on the "blood sport" nature of finding talent in 2021: "It is so difficult and it's not only how much you're going to pay me and can I work virtually. It's very much understanding what does your company stand for? What are your values? What is your, what is your feeling on diversity? What is your data on diversity? This comes up all the time. And it's not only are candidates asking those questions, but also our clients are asking. It's not just, do we believe in diversity and inclusion — it's what is our record? For some of our companies, particularly in the pharma category, we have to give them monthly reports."
Kahn on the HP's recently announced goals to become 'the most sustainable and just tech company in the world.' "We believe in policy, not politics — so we don't view these as political issues, we view these as policy issues. Some of the areas where we're advocating around have to do with women in leadership, women in technical leadership, diverse representation across technical and engineering ladders, and so on. These are our values and for people that are looking for jobs and looking at the kinds of companies that they want to work for, again, I would say, look very carefully at the hiring practices and the recruiting practices and the cultural practices of the kinds of companies that, that you're looking at. Each of these goals was chosen with a lot of purpose and a lot of ambition."
In this series, we invite the industry's most accomplished and respected leaders to provide mentorship and guidance for the industry's rising stars. At a time when PR professionals are missing key opportunities for networking, we hope this series can help fill a void. Previous episodes featured Levi Strauss CCO Kelly McGinnis and Google VP Lily Lin.