CSR specialist warns against ‘me-too mentality’

PR professionals should get more involved in clients’ CSR programmes because they are currently ineffective, according to a respected business guru.

Speaking at the annual International Public Relations Association Summit in London this week, International Business Leaders Forum MD Adrian Hodges  said a raft of companies were launching CSR initiatives because of a ‘me-too mentality’.

‘Companies are just wanting to tick the CSR box, but it is encouraging superficiality,’ he said.

Hodges, a former worldwide head of corporate comms for The Body Shop, said companies should own up to the real reasons why they are looking at doing CSR. ‘They are too shy to say that they are expecting business benefits,’ he said.

The conference also heard from Karen Hughes, under-secretary for public affairs at the US Department of State and a member of George Bush’s inner circle.

Referring to how the US has struggled to change public opinion in the wake of the Iraq war, Hughes said: ‘Representing a country is a complicated brand.’

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