Session 2, Lee & Holladay

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CSR & Social Media: Challenges & Lessons

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Session 2, Lee & Holladay

  1. 1. Promoting Corporate Philanthropy through Social Media Hen Ping Lee Sherry J. Holladay University of Central Florida, USA Presented at the International CSR Communication Conference Amsterdam, Netherlands 27 October 2011
  2. 2. Research Rationale <ul><li>To reap reputational benefits from CSR, corporations must create awareness of their CSR efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT must avoid seeming overly self-serving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social media offers low-cost & less obtrusive methods for creating awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media is growing in popularity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT constituents must have easy access to social media reports of CSR for communication success </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Research Rationale - continued <ul><li>Focus on philanthropy - more “tangible” than some other forms of CSR & may be easier to communicate through social media </li></ul><ul><li>8 types of philanthropy (Kotler & Lee, 2005) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash donations - Awarding scholarships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product donations - Providing technical expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services donations - Offering use of equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offering grants - Allowing use of facilities & distribution channels </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Research Questions <ul><li>Pertained to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of access to social media (Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube) from corporate home pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of social media to report 8 types of philanthropy </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Method <ul><li>Initial sample – top 20 & bottom 20 of Fortune 100 companies </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of easy access to social media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct link on official homepage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link from “about us” section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engine (corporation’s name & social media tool) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Final sample - corporations with at least 1 social media link & at least 1 philanthropic activity reported through social media ( n = 22 ) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Results <ul><li>RQ1: Do the corporations provide links to Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube through 1 of 3 access points? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>82.5% ( n = 33/40) provided easy access to at least 1 of the 3 social media tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Averaged 2.54 types of social media links ( SD = .71) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Range = 1 to 3 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Results - continued <ul><li>RQ3: Which types of philanthropic activities were reported through the 3 types of social media? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>22 corporations used 1 of 3 types of social media to report philanthropy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>140 philanthropic activities were reported </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>53% used Twitter ( n = 74) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>41% used Facebook ( n = 57) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6.43% used YouTube ( n = 9) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Results - continued <ul><li>Most frequently reported types of philanthropy ( n = 140) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donating cash (51.40%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donating products (19.30%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donating services (10.71%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offering grants (9.29%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarding scholarships (5.71%) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Conclusions & Implications <ul><li>The 3 social media platforms are suitable for CSR reporting. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter was used most often. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Study provides the foundation for future research on using social media to communicate CSR-related information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where do constituents look for CSR information? Expectations for CSR communication? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirically examine if using social media can reduce promotional backlash. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to examine a greater variety of corporations & CSR activities. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Questions? Comments?
  11. 12. Research Questions <ul><li>RQ1: Do the corporations in the sample provide links to Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube through 1 of 3 access points? </li></ul><ul><li>RQ2: Where are the locations for the access points to the links for the 3 types of social media? </li></ul><ul><li>RQ3: Which types of corporate philanthropic activities were reported through the 3 types of social media? </li></ul>

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