Public Sees Brands, Social Media as Conduits to Communities

In a just-released global survey by Havas Worldwide, nearly two-thirds (60%) of the 10,000 respondents would like their favorite brands to help their local communities, while 68% believe businesses are as responsible as governments for driving positive social change.

The agency’s “Communities and Citizenship” study also found that the single greatest societal change agent is “people empowered by social media,” a finding that puts communications pros in the thick of CSR responsibilities, given they are often responsible for social media activities.

The study found that 88% use social media at least once a day, and 45% say it has made them more politically aware or active. For millennials those numbers increased to 54%, compared to 24% among older respondents (age 55-plus).

More than 40% said they expect to use social media in the future to promote worthy causes.

What does this mean for communications executives? A greater focus on CSR initiatives and the PR around them—both internally and externally. And the more focus, the greater communications’ standing will be within the organization.

At the PRSA Conference in October, Biz Stone of Twitter said in his keynote speech that altruism is becoming the norm and will be one of the pillars of business. It looks like Stone’s prediction is spot on.

Celebrate the top people and campaigns in CSR at the PR News CSR Awards luncheon, set for Feb. 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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