Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Role of a PR Practitioner in CSR

As I began to read about the use of public relations practices in corporate social responsibility, I realized not everyone has very high opinions about it. Like this article from The Guardian in the UK, Christian Aid did a study (of which the validity/reliability I am still not sure) that shows that many people think that corporations "preach" about CSR but do not follow through on it (on a side note, this article shows that many people do not think very highly about the PR profession in general).
This leads me to my first point about the role of the PR practitioner when dealing with CSR. PR practitioners must publicize their companies' CSR and then make sure it is enforced. I agree with the article in that companies should not say they are being socially responsible when they are not (i.e. LYING!).
As long as it is being enforced, PR practitioners have the responsibility to make sure their publics and stakeholders know about it. This is their responsibility to the company and stakeholders. PR practitioners need to present it "in the most neutral tone with no hypes nor exaggerations." This quotation is from an article from DT Communications Asia Pacific. They also emphasize the idea that it is not only a specific event, like a fundraiser, but should be seen as an ongoing process where there is no "final point." This article also gives three pretty interesting examples that I feel really exemplify the importance of good PR in social corporate responsibility.
Social corporate responsibility is primarily the responsibility of the company. However, PR plays a big role in this because PR practitioners are the ones responsible for getting a company's socially responsible messages and values to the public. This generates more business for the company which in turn can generate even more socially responsible practices.

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