Trust Factor: CSR No Substitute for a Visible CEO

As a practitioner who counsels primarily very senior executives and CEOs, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “When is PR going to step up and solve the business reputation issues that are so adverse and negative in the country?” I’m also frequently asked by CEOs, “Is the public really angry at me and all CEOs the way it appears in the media?” Well, the answer to the first question, very clearly, is that this is a management problem and issue before it is a PR problem or issue. The answer to the second question is “Yes,” and it will take constructive direct involvement and leadership by CEOs if they want to see the situation remedied. The PR profession has bent over backward doing what it can, but its principal weapon, something called corporate social responsibility or CSR, will never do the trick.

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