How Social Media Can Improve Corporate Social Responsibility
Posted By: Carlee Vellinga
As companies focus on their financial, environmental and social impacts, they must shift their attention toward better communication. Social media allows companies to communicate more freely with their stakeholders, clients and customers. David Connor offers tips regarding social responsibility.
There was a time when companies used to get away with almost whatever they wanted to because they had the ability to control the vast majority of the communication about their activities both good and bad. In the prehistoric days before the World Wide Web, traditional press officers pushed out paper press releases whenever they thought they had something that would impress an audience. The bad stuff, or even the just not so glowingly positive, hardly ever got past the reputation guardians.
Coincidentally, on a parallel track, a growing movement in and around business was emerging touting something called corporate social responsibility (CSR); the balancing of a company’s financial, environment and social impacts. In the beginning, the web offered an increased amount of corporate information available. Although still rigidly protected at source by the press officers, the initial explosion of readily accessible data and search tools created more opportunities for weaknesses to be noticed for those who cared to go looking. Then social media arrived and upped the ante exponentially.
Now everybody (and especially activist groups) with a mobile phone could if they had the slightest inclination, access this overwhelming amount of information then analyse, filter and broadcast their opinions to their own and often substantial and influential networks. This near instantaneous transmission of corporate misdemeanors had bypassed complacent press officers whilst visionary marketers spied a new era.