CSR reality check

I believe too much effort has been devoted to turning firms into all-purpose social agencies and that too much PR effort has been devoted to selling this rather fraudulent proposition.

Categories: Crisis management / CSR reality check / Richard D North / Trust and reputations

25 October 2012

One comment

Savile and the BBC’s clip-board kings and queens

[This is a guest post by Richard D North.] The most important questions about the BBC and Savile saga are often left a little late in the discussion. First, why did anyone of ordinary savviness at the top of a mass entertainment organisation think the old weirdo was worth a post-mortem tribute, granted the strength of the rumours which had been going round for years? Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / CSR reality check

30 August 2012

3 comments

Lonmin’s PR credibility gap

You cannot have missed it. A strike at the Marikana platinum mine owned by Lonmin in South Africa led to 34 workers being killed and many more injured in a confrontation with the police. Weeks later the number of people on the illegal strike has increased considerably with only 13 per cent of workers turning up at the mine on Monday. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

17 July 2012

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The F-word in the new Cold War

How does a near-European monopolistic vertical supplier (upstream, downstream and in-between) of an expensive fossil fuel from a semi-democratic country convince politicians from proper democracies that competition and significantly lower prices are bad things? Play an emotive PR trump card, that’s how. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / History of PR

9 July 2012

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The rumble in the jungle: modern PR’s Edwardian birth

The International History of Public Relations Conference 2012 is convening in Bournemouth, England, this week. I’m not going. But I thought I’d use it as a hook to explore the long-forgotten story of a barbaric British company that was eventually pursued to destruction by Sir Edward Grey, a leading Liberal and British Foreign Minister (1905 -1916). I think it marks the birth of modern corporate PR.  Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

2 July 2012

6 comments

Essay: Sustainability and WBCSD’s myopic Vision 2050

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Vision 2050 says the corporate world must play a leadership role in solving mankind’s mounting problems. It outlines a new agenda for business: to work with government and society to transform global markets and competition to achieve a sustainable future. But here is a thought. Is Vision 2050 anything more than a PR survival plan for today’s big companies seeking a long-term and popular license to operate? Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check

31 October 2011

5 comments

Debating the future of CSR

I have just been to Italy. I went on a slow-paced Swiss train from cloudy Zurich past Zug and then over snowy mountains and on to sunny Lugano, Como and Milano before catching the high-speed train to Turin. There at the Industrial Union of Turin I debated Luca Poma about whether CSR was a human responsibility. Of course, I played the bad guy in contrast to Poma’s good guy persona. Read on ›