CSR leaders ‘fail’ at communications

Source: Futerra, 26 May 2003

Companies are not normally shy when it comes to telling the world how well they are doing. So why are Britain’s biggest companies so coy when it comes to talking about their record on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

The first ever survey of how FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies are communicating CSR online shows that many companies have been slow to promote what they are doing in this increasingly important area.
The CSR Online Survey was carried out jointly by CSR consultancy FUTERRA and communications agency CTN.

One key finding is that companies ranked highly for their CSR work by Business in the Community, fare much worse when it comes to communicating their achievements on their website – their most important channel of communication. The reverse is true for companies with a poor BiTC CSR ranking.

Of the FTSE 100, 97 mention CSR on their website but only 48 have a full report – and only 36 make it useful and attractive to users by offering some form of interaction.

Of the FTSE 250, 93 mention CSR, 78 have case studies and only 48 a full report.

‘However great a company’s reputation for CSR, however much money they’ve thrown at it – if they’re not giving it public profile, you have to question their commitment.’ says Solitaire Townsend of FUTERRA.

‘CSR is Britain’s best kept corporate secret.’ Says Gary Mitchell from CTN. ‘Given that most investor relations executives now recognise the strong business case for CSR, you might expect companies would be making much more of what they are doing. But it simply isn’t the case.’

‘We believe it’s in their best interest – as well as that of the wider community – to do more to get their message across’.

Read more about the results