In Part 1 of this 2-part episode of the BSuite, Anne Richardson interviews Phillip Haid, founder, and CEO of Public Inc. Phil shares his leadership perspectives as the owner of a certified B Corp and full-service social impact agency.
From the start, Phil has been on a purpose-driven pursuit. After earning a master’s in international relations, he started his career with a non-profit working on community development projects. Following that, he focused on youth social impact and change for a research firm. Eventually, he found himself in the marketing industry working for a social issue advertising company where he used marketing campaigns and CSR strategies to drive action and create positive benefits in the world. After seven years, Phil decided to take the entrepreneurial leap and launched Public Inc. in 2008.
Public Inc. opened its doors to create profit with a purpose. Phil knew he needed to change the mindset of business leaders. He positioned Public on the premise that doing business for good was not just a charitable exercise but could be a profitable business strategy.
As a full-service agency Public Inc. works with businesses to develop their purpose through the planning and execution of a business impact strategy. They implement various communication and digital marketing tactics to achieve those strategic goals.
Phil and his team work with many name brands across Fortune 100 and 500 companies on topical issues such as social justice, biodiversity, and climate-related problems. Public Inc.’s extraordinary client roster proves being purpose-driven is no longer just a concept but it’s finally becoming a requirement for many. Phil enjoys working with clients of any size as long as they have a true intention to move the needle in the right direction.
Staying true to his non-traditional path, Phil decided to apply for B Corp certification over drinks with his friend who happened to be running B Lab Canada at the time. From that auspicious conversation 7 years ago came Public’s B Corp certification. Anne and Phil reflect on the challenges of finding time to complete the B Impact Assessment while simultaneously running an agency. It’s a time-consuming process but they agree it is well worth it as it demonstrates the power of building a business that’s a force for good.
Interestingly, Anne and Phil ran into similar challenges on certain sections of the BIA. They agreed that making an impact on their workers and in their respective communities was a lot more attainable than earning points in the environmental category. The B Corp evaluation is a rigorous process that holds businesses accountable and provides a great structure for businesses to pursue a purpose-driven path.
Check back next week to listen to the second half of Anne’s conversation with Phillip Haid. In Part 2, they dive deeper into the challenges of running a purpose-driven marketing agency in today’s world. Phil and Anne discuss topics including agency identity, brand exposure, and certain digital media platforms that may or may not uphold socially responsible values.