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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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PUBLIC RELATIONS

DO GOOD BY STEALTH

Jim Blythe

MANY FIRMS MAKE a big song-and-dance about their charity work, promoting their generosity in sponsoring this or that good cause. This is all well and good, but can easily backfire: a firm that continually harps on about its good corporate citizenship makes people wonder whether it is only contributing to charity in order to look good—in the same way as a rich person suddenly becomes overwhelmingly generous as death approaches, the suspicion is that the firm (like the person) is simply trying to buy its way into heaven.

The alternative is to keep fairly quiet about charitable behavior—but how can ...

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