EDITORIAL: CSR takes rightful place in PR hierarchy

The conversation took place in June. PRWeek editors were discussing whether readers would understand the abbreviation in a headline. "If our readers don't know what 'CSR' is by now," I argued, "then they certainly ought to."

The conversation took place in June. PRWeek editors were discussing whether readers would understand the abbreviation in a headline. "If our readers don't know what 'CSR' is by now," I argued, "then they certainly ought to."

Corporate social responsibility, of course, has been in any good company's lexicon for some five years. But in early 2002, our reporters were being pitched a new CSR story every week, almost as if it were a new phenomenon. When McDonald's launched its first CSR report in April, we really knew we were on to something. It's probably said every year, but 2002 saw a consumer ever hungrier for honesty and responsibility, increasingly aware of just when they were being "marketed" to, and criticizing with their wallets the companies who were felt to be looking out solely for their own bottom line - as plenty of research conducted since September 11 and the collapse of Enron has shown. While the number of RFPs on PRWeek's news pages was depleted in 2002, it has been interesting to note the nature of the diminished few. Many were from the government; a few were for big consumer projects (Visa and HP, for example), but a large number were either for repairing reputations for the likes of Tyco and WorldCom, or addressing social issues, such as NPR hiring Fleishman-Hillard to reach out to a more diverse audience. We know that everyone is pining for the numerous, lucrative consumer briefs. But we will be happy when news comes in of another corporation embracing CSR. Keep the news coming.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.