Thursday, December 10, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility - An Amazing Differentiator
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seems to be the latest buzz word in corporate development. The reality is that CSR dates back some 5,000 years with the earliest concerns focused on forest preservation. Through the years the definition evolved to include stewardship, responsible actions, transparency, philanthropy, giving back, worker’s rights and most recently business operations. In addition, the consumer is now paying attention which may be just the impetus CSR needs to become part of the business strategy rather than through a foundation agenda.
And there is no better place for CSR activities to reside but in a collaborative team composed of members from the marketing and communication functions. The 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer found that when survey participants distrusted a company: 77% refuse to buy their products/services; 72% criticized them to a friend/colleague; and 34% shared their opinion/experience online. These are marketing and communication issues concerning the bottom line that deal with brand image and reputation. So can CSR restore trust in the world’s corporate companies and become that key differentiator in the marketplace? Thoughts?