Crowdsourcing becoming valuable CSR tool, study says

WASHINGTON: Crowdsourcing is proving to be a valuable resource in raising awareness and engagement for CSR programs, a Weber Shandwick study found.

WASHINGTON: Crowdsourcing is proving to be a valuable resource in raising awareness and engagement for CSR programs, a Weber Shandwick study found.

The agency's Social Impact Survey found 44% of respondents have used crowdsourcing and 95% of those that used it found it valuable to the organization's initiative.

“Executives are clearly seeing a value in crowdsourcing. High profile efforts, such as Pepsi Refresh, Chase Community Giving, and Target Bullseye have sparked conversation about how valuable a tool it can be to a company,” said Paul Massey, cofounder of Weber Shandwick's Social Media Impact. In full disclosure, Weber Shandwick works on the Pepsi Refresh campaign.

This is just a starting point in the potential value of crowdsourcing in CSR efforts and more experimenting will continue in 2011, Massey added.

Executives surveyed said crowdsourcing is valuable because it can provide new perspectives and diverse opinions, build engagement and relationships with key audiences, invite clients and customers from nontraditional sources to contribute ideas and opinions, and it brings new energy into the process of generating ideas and content.

The study also found 72% executives used social media to communicate about CSR efforts and 59% found it had a positive impact on the quality of communication with consumers.

Facebook was the most valuable social tool listed, followed by blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare.

For driving awareness, 85% of executives said community events are effective, 75% said executive outreach is effective, and 70% cited earned media. To drive engagement, 83% said community events are effective, 74% said executive outreach, and 69% said earned media.

The study was conducted by KRC Research in October 2010 among 200 corporate executives in large-sized companies with responsibility for philanthropic, social responsibility, or community relations.

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