Predictably, Exxon’s pledge Monday to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions was panned as underwhelming and meaningless. By unveiling comparatively feeble targets, the big oil giant looked a day late and a dollar short. So, why bother with all the fancy graphics and hopeful language?

Companies across America today face one of the most difficult challenges in business: telling thousands of employees that they no longer have work.

At a national level, waves of pandemic-driven layoffs are adding up to an economic catastrophe. At a human level, however, every employee takes the news as a personal blow. It is therefore imperative that these companies get the message right. No matter how tortured the explanation, announcements must truthfully address the necessity of organizational survival and the ultimate objective of preserving as many jobs as possible.

Above all, companies must show that they — and their senior…

Late last week, Elizabeth Warren sent the private equity industry diving for cover. The Senator from Massachusetts and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, led a battalion of allies in the Senate and House, including her party rival, Bernie Sanders, in a broadside attack on PE tax benefits.

In a measured response, the industry correctly pointed out that many of these breaks have enabled managers to generate competitive returns for investors and job growth at many of the companies in which they invest. The skirmish hardly drew blood. Few expect a bill to go beyond the Congressional Record.

Still, she…

Communications Strategies for Banks and Fintechs

For the financial services industry, Facebook’s new crypto currency, Libra, is yet another warning that digital technology is chipping away at the foundation of traditional business models.

Given the proposition that crypto currencies can supplant sovereign money, bankers and consumer fintech companies are backed into a corner. Regulated institutions, at least, are incentivized to side with central banks who supply credit and liquidity, and with regulators who grant their operating licenses.

Over in Menlo Park, the social media titan has created the antithesis of 19th-Century banking and currency markets by pairing its crypto currency with an operating co-op dubbed Calabria…

Pen Pendleton

PR Consultant

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