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Truth Be Told

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Truth Be Told

How Authentic Marketing and Communications Wins in the Purposeful Age

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn how purpose can power organizations, build meaningful brands and link profit to social impact.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


Over the past decade, organizations around the world have shifted to a purpose-driven paradigm: seeking stronger organizational cultures, greater customer impact and boosts to performance. Strategy experts John O’Brien and David Gallagher offer a timely, engaging and thorough discussion of purpose, with a wealth of examples and current research – including the effects of COVID-19. Marketing and PR professionals and leaders at any level will find useful insights and actionable advice.


Businesses must demonstrate “informed empathy.”

Informed empathy means understanding the circumstances of the world beyond your own business. It also entails appreciating how other people see and experience the world. Informed empathy has emerged as a business imperative because companies today must build wider relationships – to engage with their entire ecosystem – and grasp how the world engages with or could affect their business. They must recognize and show genuine empathy for societal concerns, such as Black Lives Matter16 or stakeholders’ ethical expectations.

The world has reached new levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – VUCA 2.0 – due to the global pandemic, among other shifts in economies, geopolitics and individuals. Companies must create solutions that promote human-centric purposes.

Purpose represents a new business rationale and strategy – not a marketing approach.

The notion that a business exists to create shareholder value has given way to the concept of purpose. Corporate social responsibility, sustainability and socially responsible investing represent steps toward transforming...

About the Authors

John O’Brien MBE is a senior purpose strategist and Europe, Middle East, and Africa managing partner of Omnicom’s ONE HUNDRED agency collective. David Gallagher heads international growth and development for Omnicom’s PR Group.

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