It has been previously discussed that the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Relations (PR) attracts heated debates.

For clarification’s sake, CSR is simply a set of practices that organizations use to contribute to the well-being of their immediate community. Individual brands also carry out CSR activities, to contribute their quota to a community’s growth. Corporate Social Responsibility programs need to be genuine, not just marketing

The debate has been “Can corporate social responsibility ever really be a genuine act, or is it somehow a PR stunt?”. It would be okay to scream that CSR is not and should not be a Publicity tool, for organizations, but it is only appropriate to say that PR is inevitable in the practice of CSR. It comes in handy to communicate this CSR to internal and external stakeholders to understand the organization’s commitment and efforts.

Although CSR is not to be used for PR purposes, it is a source of positive image building for the organization or brand, and hence is positive PR.

You would agree with me that Brand Communication is how organizations tell the world about their strategies. Without effective PR, this would not be achievable. If an organization decides to give food to members of a community, would it be known by the community if not for a strong communication strategy behind them? Unlikely. 

However, it is very important that the communication be done such that the CSR initiative is on the front line and not just boosting the Organization’s image. The role of PR in this process is to ensure that customers, along with internal and external stakeholders are aware of the organization’s commitment and efforts.

PR can be both a blessing and a curse to CSR. It is a matter of ‘which comes first’ and what is the intention. Done in the opposite order, CSR becomes nothing but a marketing tool, used solely for improving the company’s bottom line.

When used properly, public relations’ goal is to share an organization’s CSR initiatives. And of course, in turn, contribute to strengthening its image, position and customers’ trust.

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