Your first inclination when hearing the story about Mylan and its EpiPen is to categorize it. Put it in a place alongside similar tales. That’s normal. It’s what the human brain does to make sense of incoming stimuli. The EpiPen saga seems like an easy one to handle. We who follow news of brands, particularly in the pharmaceutical space, have seen it before.
When a company does something good and no one notices, what is the impact? Companies create philanthropic or charitable initiatives as part of their CSR programs for many reasons. Because there is the notion that CSR campaigns are created to cover up bad behavior, some corporations shy away from publicizing these efforts to stakeholders. They worry that if they do, they are signaling that there is a reason behind the strategy and will come under attack.
Corporate social responsibility programs simply can’t have any real lifespan without the work of professional communicators. The best PR pros breathe life into CSR programs by creating ongoing dialogues between a program’s creators and a company’s employees and C-suite, journalists, the public at large on digital channels and communities that stand to benefit from the program itself.
The topic of issues management has been around for decades. It’s examined and debated regularly in the PR industry mainly because it can be a very broad, overarching concept.
When the pressure of crisis management and an often-thorny public policy process are added to the mix, a conundrum can develop, especially for communicators with little to no experience in one or all of these areas. Issues management around public policy must be woven into an organization’s culture early, not just when things are tanking.
Doing corporate responsibility well is not as easy as it appears. Facebook has learned that lesson more than once with its Safety Check feature, which hit another snag in Pakistan last weekend when the inquiring message that was supposed to be sent to those in and around Lahore, Pakistan, went to Facebook users as far away as the U.S.
Being a CSR practitioner today is more challenging than ever.
If you’re not careful, your CSR efforts might hurt those you seek to help.
Intentionally or not, with its list of nominees the motion picture industry is sending a message about its own sense and awareness of the value of diversity—a message and perhaps a wake-up call that could prove useful to other industries and professional disciplines that have similar blind spots.