“Corporate Social Responsibility” Big Business for Communications, Message, Research Consulting
The #1 Axios item today, “1 big thing: United States of Corporate America,” points out that “corporate social responsibility” (shorthanded as “CSR” within companies) is now one of the hottest topics in boardrooms… as corporate officials say the phenomenon will become integrated into corporate culture, and therefore have staying power.”
President Trump, Axios says, gets credit for speeding up, if not inspiring, this new era of corporate action. “After all,” the item notes, “it was his impulsive decision, early on in his presidency, to ban some Muslims from entering America that forced CEOs to start speaking out. This new, more vocal form of corporate activism soon spread to global warming, immigration, the minimum wage and now gun control.”
Highly risk-averse CEO’s and senior management must now delicately, yet decisively, weigh-in on public controversies — and the beneficiaries of this development are the consultants, researchers and messaging experts who’ll be retained to help them do so.
Already on guard from attack by angry consumers, negative reporting, class action lawsuits and third party attacks on myriad matters both salient and trivial, CEO’s have never been so exposed to the public criticism they try so hard to avoid.
66% of consumers find it important for brands to speak out on socio-political issues like gun control, according to new data from Sprout Social.
Further, 58% of millennials, 55% of GenXers and 51% of baby boomers think it’s important that brands they support invest in causes they care about, according to a report from InMoment released this past week.
“So corporate social activism is actually good politics — internally and externally,” Mike Allen rightly observes.
For those of us who formerly worked solely in the political campaign arena and now find campaigns a desultory, depressing enterprise to avoid at all costs, this new corporate vulnerability to newly-activist public pressure is a welcome business development.