Our recent CSR in Action seminar helped to highlight a close synergy between the worlds of PR and CSR.
It’s safe to say that both PR and CSR have in the past suffered from a lack of clear definition – so diverse their component activities could be that even the most learned audiences have at times struggled for clarity on the purpose and scope of their influence.
PR began when organisations recognised an opportunity to carefully shape their message and manage the flow of information between themselves and the audiences around them. CSR came a little later, when the first of these organisations began to understand, and actively moderate, the impact their activities were actually having on these audiences, often as a means of creating a positive picture to these audiences.
However, an evolution has been underway with the Internet, and the social revolution it ignited, acting as the catalyst. Put simply, we now live in a meritocracy; a world where everyone has the potential to not only have an opinion, but to make that opinion know to everyone else.
The result is a landscape where organisations can no longer simply ‘control the message’, or give only passing consideration to the impacts of their enterprises on their audiences. Instead these audiences are actively engaged, want to be part of a dialogue, and will make known their feelings (good or bad) about the actions of any brand or business they encounter.
It’s here that PR and CSR come ever closer together. To build trust and maintain custom organisations must listen to their stakeholders, respect their views, and where possible even involve them in the way they operate. Words like collaboration and partnership are becoming vital components of both the PR and CSR sectors; the opportunity for organisations and their audiences to work together towards shared goals is a marriage made in meritocracy.
Do you agree? Are PR and CSR entering a golden age of co-operation, built on a more open and connected approach to an organisation’s audiences?
Threepipe hosted a seminar on CSR, including guest speakers Andrea Rannard (CSR Consultant and Author), Simon Henderson (Director of Corporate Responsibility at Centrica) and Annie Mullins OBE (Global Head of Content Standards, Vodafone Group).
For details on future Threepipe seminars, and to register your interest please email Anouska.email@example.com