Companies communication on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The Rio Summit put sustainable development issues back in the centre of the media debate. Environmental issues are becoming global and are mobilizing local authorities, companies, trade unions, associations and individuals. Many companies participated in the Rio meetings, making the summit the forefront of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication operations. “Act local, think global” thus became a unifying credo at the origin of a new form of so-called “responsible” communication. But the line between genuine commitment and simple communication operations is sometimes thin.
The emergence of the theme of sustainable development, which has permeated the communication of a large majority of companies for several years, has led companies to seize a field that was previously not widely exploited: CSR communication. And step by step, corporate social responsibility has had repercussions on all aspects of their communication: image, reputation, awareness, both internally and externally, accompanied by new communication practices. The use of specific tools such as labels, codes of conduct, charters and CSR reports has spread very quickly.
However, beyond a passing hype, CSR communication should be approached as a real “communication matter”: it must be built in an expert and professional way and must reflect the reality of the company’s activities. Indeed, many companies that have fallen into the trap of “CSR communication” have been caught a short time later by a social or environmental crisis… The choice of CSR communication and what it implies in terms of strategy and tools, should therefore only be made if credibility, transparency and the reality of commitments are guaranteed.