Misguided Activists: Why Target the Good Guys?

On this plane of existence, there are very few saints and an awful lot of sinners; in the corporate world, it’s even more crowded. So if your mission is to name and shame sinful firms, you can pick off your targets blindfolded. But activists who want to rally public support against industry practices have to […]

What Corporate Social Responsibility Looks Like Today

In 1970, the management theorist Alvar O. Elbing coined the term corporate social responsibility (CSR), capturing the first stirrings of a significant shift in thinking within corporations. The coming decades would see the rise of stakeholder theory, which argued that corporations must be sensitive to the demands of employees, customers, investors, and the larger communities […]

Truth and Reconciliation, Corporate-Style

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not everyone’s cup of tea but there’s no denying the concept is catching on. From Molson Coors Canada’s “responsible drinking” campaign to Ben and Jerry’s Caring Dairy program, CSR adherents are trying to tie good deeds to business interests. Many of these initiatives are eminently worthwhile. Very few reflect profound […]

Communicating corporate social responsibility to Generation Me

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) presents communicators with a special challenge. CSR initiatives offer great opportunities to reposition a company and connect with stakeholders. But communicators have to be careful not to make CSR look like a marketing ploy. This “promoter’s paradox” is a difficult balancing act. It probably explains why corporate communicators tend to take […]