Cone launches product to measure CSR, social media

BOSTON: Cone Communications has unveiled a tool to measure how brands are using social media in their CSR efforts.

BOSTON: Cone Communications has unveiled a tool to measure how brands are using social media in their CSR efforts.

The agency launched the product, called CSR SocialScore, on Monday. It provides a snapshot of a company's CSR communications on social and digital platforms, along with insight on how a brand can better engage stakeholders about corporate responsibility using a point-based system.

CSR SocialScore measures a company's social media activity through two lenses: ability to inform and engage audiences. A brand can earn up to 50 points on the “inform” side and another 50 points for engagement. The inform portion of the score evaluates a company's CSR reporting and social media presence, while the engage part looks at how the brand is positioning itself as a CSR thought leader and providing opportunities for feedback and collaboration.

“So much of the CSR landscape has changed. In order for a company to really understand what stakeholders expect of it and what they're holding companies accountable for, it has to be plugged in,” said Cone SVP Liz Gorman. “But some companies are also probably doing more than what people know.”

CSR SocialScore can measure a company against its own performance or compare it with competitors, she added.

Software giant SAP is an example of a company making its sustainability reporting more interactive and sharable online, Gorman said.

“SAP shared results of its materiality assessment online and then let the user go in and take that grid interactive – you could move around issues and reprioritize them based on what you thought their top priorities should be,” she explained. “When we look at a company's CSR report, if it's just a static document with no interactive opportunities, they don't get points for that.”

Nearly two-thirds of global consumers use social media to communicate with companies about social and environmental issues, according to a recent study on CSR by Cone Communications and Echo Research.

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