Session 2, Tench & Jones


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CSR & Social Media: Challenges & Lessons

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  • Changing way we live, work and do businessOpportunities for creation, co-creation and production of knowledge and valueChanging how businesses operate, market their offerings (including CSR credentials), communicate and manage their affairsOld (media) world, new worldWeb 2.0 and corporate messagingEU communication directors survey findingsImpact on corporate thinking, messaging and behaviourRe-thinking communication strategies
  • An intriguing web!Companies are increasingly using social media to communicate their social responsibilityHow best to manage CSR and corporate reputation in the context of the social web is a management problematicSocial media means business reputation is no longer solely in the hands of management
  • Companies need to confront and minimise their CSI whilst developing and communicating their CSR.Companies need to build positive on-line CSR credentials and corporate reputations.
  • So what does some of the evidence tell us? From a European perspective we have the ECM (2007-2011). See the year on year growth of online and social media activities by practice (when asked how important are the following methods in addressing stakeholders?). On line the strongest but most recent rapid growth in social media (blogs etc)When focussing down onto channels, online communities (social networks) way ahead
  • Social networks leadingUnsurprisingly this survey provides a positive report and perception of the use, engagement and general understanding of online channels in communication management across Europe. There is evidence of tremendous growth in the perceived importance of online channels from the responses of the communication practitioners. This is most clearly emphasised by the number of professionals judging social media as an important instrument for communicating with a range of stakeholders (41%; a rise from 12% in 2007 and 20% in 2009). However, it is interesting to note that this is still a minority of the population. In fact, six out of ten practitioners in Europe do not see the importance of, or appear to believe in the value of, social media. In contrast a clear majority of the respondents emphasise the relevance of controlled online activities (web sites, e-mail: 75%) and online media relations (68%). When considering specific online channels and their use and application, online communities (social networks) continue to be the most important social media platform (50%). Twitter is still growing as a useful channel for practitioners and maintains its popularity (32%; up from 26 % in 2010). However it is not a consistent picture for all channels and some of the past stars that have been popular are in decline, such as podcasts, wikis and weblogs, which have all lost relevance during the last twelve months Weblolgs, wikis and podcasts LOST relevanceBut the big questions are on guidelines….
  • Guidelines performed badly in 2010 but in 2011 survey there is evidence they are In 2010, the ECM reported a disappointing picture regarding the management and leadership of online and social media usage by practitioners. There was limited evidence of social media guidelines, monitoring routines or key performance indicators to define and measure its usage. For 2011, however, four out of ten professionals working in communication departments are able to report the existence of social media guidelines. In this landscape, Sweden and the UK are at the forefront of developments in designing and implementing guidelines for social media usage. Another positive development is that every third organisation has established tools for monitoring the social web. Both of these elements are a clear improvement on the practice reported last year. However, key performance indicators to define and evaluate measures of success and training programmes are less prevalent (21%).
  • Overall, governance structures for social media are still underdeveloped and can be seen to be missing from most communication departments across Europe.
  • When considering the relative competence and practical capability of practitioners, it is clear that European communication professionals have only moderate social media skills. One explanation or reason to consider for this skills gap is their moderate private use of social media. Interestingly, almost every fifth practitioner uses participative platforms only once a week or not at all. The survey reveals that a stronger private use of the tools leads to a clear increase in social media capabilities. Some other unsurprising facts on social media usage are that private use of social media decreases with the increasing age of the respondent. There is also evidence of some sectoral diversification, with non-profit practitioners privately engaging most with social media.
  • Session 2, Tench & Jones

    1. 1. Social Media: the Wild West of Corporate Communications Professor Ralph Tench and Dr Brian Jones Leeds Business School Leeds Metropolitan University 26-28th October 2011
    2. 2. Key question How do businesses and corporate communication professionals manage CSR messages in an unruly, largely unregulated social media environment?
    3. 3. Social Media  Changing lives  Co-creation  Changing business  Old (media) world, new world  Web 2.0 and corporate messaging  EU communication directors survey findings  Re-thinking communication strategies
    4. 4. Core Argument We argue that the creation of value is in part determined by the co-creation of message. Co- creation of message lies at the heart of social media.
    5. 5. Social media context  Amalgam: podcasts, wikis, twitter, social network sites  Web 2.0 user generated content (OECD, 2007)  Co-creation, collaboration  Changing business and society  Downsides (OECD, 2007): - inclusion, security, privacy, cultural fragmentation
    6. 6. The world of social media Wikis Forums and Blogs chatrooms Social News media Social groups networks Mail Podcasts groups
    7. 7. Communicating CSR  A redrawing of the rules for communicating CSR and Corporate Social Irresponsibility  How a company’s CSR offering is perceived and the image their audience has is not only shaped by their communication efforts, it is in part a product of social media online conversations
    8. 8. Voices, views and opinions  User generated comment is a key element of the communication mix  Social media allows a company’s stakeholders to co- create brand image and reputation  Risks have to be managed
    9. 9. Growth of On-line communication Chart 1 Online communication and social media activities: Importance has grown steadily during the last five years Important instruments for addressing stakeholders 74.8% 67.8% Online communication (websites, e-mail, intranet) 58.6% 58.1% 54.4% 68.2% 56.8% Addressing online media 43.8% 44.0% 38.4% 40.5% 26.7% Social media (blogs, podcasts,communities) 19.5% 12.4% 11.5% 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 / Zerfass et al. 2011 / nmax = 1,146 PR professionals; Q 11; Zerfass et al. 2010 / nmax = 1,914; Q 6; Zerfass et al. 2009 / nmax = 1,863; Q 5; Zerfass et al. 2008 / n = 1,524; Q 3; Zerfass et al. 2007/n = 1,087; Q 4: How important are the following methods in addressing stakeholders, gatekeepers and audiences? (1 = Not important; 5 = Very important; important = scale points 4-5).
    10. 10. On-line communities Chart 2 Social media channels: Online communities are leading the field; podcasts, wikis and weblogs have lost relevance 49.8% Online Communities (social networks) 44.6% 39.5% Online videos (moving images) 38.4% 28.3% Weblogs 30.9% 32.5% Microblogs (Twitter) 26.3% 27.9% Photo sharing 16.5% Social bookmarks 21.5% Slide sharing 15.8% Wikis 17.2% Important tools for 14.0% communication management Podcasts (audio) 16.8% 2011 2010 10.0% Virtual worlds 9.5% / Zerfass et al. 2011 / n = 2,209 PR professionals; Q 13; Zerfass et al. 2010 / n = 1,955, Q 13: Can you indicate the level of importance for communication management today and in the next year of the following communication tools ? Scale 1 (= Not important) - 5 (= Very important); considered scale points 4-5. 2010 data not available for newly added items. Significant differences between assessments of channels in the 2010 and 2011 survey with the exeception of items "Podcasts" and "Weblogs" (T-test, p ≤ 0.01).
    11. 11. Social media guidelines and monitoringtools Chart 3 Social media guidelines and monitoring tools have evolved stronger than expected Implemented in March 2011 Planned implementation until the end of the year in March 2010 39.6% Implemented in March 2010 33.3% 31.8% 25.6% 25.9% 25.7% 25.8% 23.9% 21.3% 21.1% 15.2% 15.1% Social media guidelines for Tools for monitoring Training programmes for Key performance indicators communicating in blogs, stakeholder communication social media for measuring social web twitter etc. on the social web activities / Zerfass et al. 2011 / n = 1,572 PR professionals in communication departments; Q 15: Do any of the following measures exist in your organisation? (Already implemented; Planned for 2011; Not currently planned); Zerfass et al. 2010 / n = 1,955; Q 14: Has your organisation already implemented one of the following? (Already implemented; Planned for 2010; Not planned yet).
    12. 12. Governance structures for socialmedia Chart 4 Governance structures for social media are still missing in most communication departments Social media guidelines for communicating 39.6% 30.3% 30.2% in blogs, twitter etc. Tools for monitoring stakeholder 33.3% 24.7% 42.0% communication on the social web Training programmes for social media 21.3% 27.9% 50.8% Key performance indicators for measuring 21.1% 30.7% 48.3% social web activities 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Already implemented Planned for 2011 Not planned yet / Zerfass et al. 2011 / n = 1,572 PR professionals in communication departments; Q 15: Do any of the following measures exist in your organisation? (1 = Already implemented; 2 = Planned for 2011; 3 = Not currently planned).
    13. 13. Private use of social media Chart 5 Private use of social media: 18 per cent of communication professionals are not very active 4.7% Daily 13.6% Several times per week Less than once or once a week Never 56.1% 25.6% / Zerfass et al. 2011 / n = 2,209 PR professionals; Q 20: How often do you use social media platforms (Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, etc.) for private reasons in your leisure time?
    14. 14. Findings and observations  Social media is used to challenge as well as defend CSR activities  Scope for communication professionals to make more use of social media  Social media is about participation, involvement and co-ownership of CSR messages.
    15. 15. Findings and observations  A good online CSR reputation can potentially strengthen corporate image and reputation, and add value and competitive advantage to the business  New empowered audience of clued up customers and 24/7 online writers and activists produce news content  Poses real challenge to companies in general and in particular to communication professionals and PR departments
    16. 16. Which direction are we travelling?
    17. 17. Summary: Wild West of socialmedia Effective online CSR reputation management can with a degree of certainty be asserted to be about community conversation, participation and collaboration.  Quasi social interactive chaos  Ideas and opportunities emerge  Communities of interest