How a Duck Helped Brand a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program

The Corporate Social Responsibility Edition

This Case in Point is not currently available. Email the Professional Development Department to inquire about future availability of this program.

Categories: Branding, Communication Strategy, Leadership & Management, Techniques & Tactics

Case in Point

Case in Points are online, interactive case studies that are focused on various industry topics within communications. Each Case in Point is 75-minutes in length and the interaction will be tied to a private, online community. The online community will encourage participation through videos, suggested readings tied to the topic and through conversing with other attendees before and after the live session.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn’t just a nice thing to do — it's a business imperative. Setting and implementing initiatives is a good start, but developing sustainable branded CSR initiatives that demonstrate a measurable return on investment that aligns with business objectives is the goal.

After completing this Case in Point, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the correlation between citizenship and reputation.
  • Identify ideas for measuring the effectiveness of CSR programs.
  • Define steps on how to create a branded CSR effort.
  • Review the latest results of Aflac’s CSR survey which highlights trends within the discipline.

Jon Sullivan, director of corporate communications at Aflac, and the PR News PR Professional of the Year in 2016 and 2017, will share the company's CSR journey. You will hear how the beloved mascot became a leading advocate in the fight against cancer, and the story behind the robotic companion My Special Aflac Duck, as well as learn how Aflac evaluates and measures its return on CSR.


Jon Sullivan, director, corporate communications, Aflac Incorporated

Photo of Jon Sullivan

Jon Sullivan is Director of Corporate Communications for Aflac where he leads the planning and execution of the FORTUNE 126 Company's CSR program, external communication and media relations.

In 2016 & 2017, Mr. Sullivan was named the PR News PR Professional of the Year. He is also the 2016 American Business Awards Winner for PR Executive of the Year. He has received numerous other industry awards for his work, including a Cannes PR Lion, Silver and Bronze Anvils and an Effie.

Over a 10-year career at Aflac, Sullivan has generated impactful media placements with CBS Evening News, ESPN, AJC and the NY Times. He has also generated thought leadership and executive outreach articles in the USA Today, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal the New York Times, Forbes and MSNBC.

Prior to his time at Aflac, Sullivan spent six years in broadcast journalism at two network affiliated TV stations in Buffalo, New York. While in Buffalo, he was recruited to serve as a spokesperson and public relations director with local government before being recruited as a director in the administration of Governor George Pataki, where he spent eight years steering communications related to workers compensation.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Mr. Sullivan currently lives in Cataula, Georgia with his wife Jennifer and two children.


Laura Kane, chief communications officer, PRSA


Participants with the APR credential earn 1.0 APR Maintenance Credit for a Case in Point session. Learn more about Accreditation renewal.