New Media and Corporate Responsibility

New Media and Corporate Responsibility

The results of Cone’s 2009 Consumer New Media Study include two points that I found to be remarkable:

“Forty-four percent of American new media users are searching for, sharing or discussing information about corporate responsibility (CR) efforts and programs…”

“Sixty-two percent of users polled believe they can influence business decisions by voicing opinions via new media channels. ”

While the findings about how much consumers are using new media are important, what strikes me most is the priority that Americans (and presumably Canadians) are placing on corporate responsibility and that so many people are interested in having an impact on what business is doing. In this context, it’s important for corporations to be doing the right thing and creating opportunities for their stakeholders to have a voice and to make a difference – increasingly this will be through new media.

Yesterday, I wrote about Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing. Here’s another nugget from Chouinard: “People still need an ethical center, a sense of their role in society. A company can help fill that void if it shows its employees and its customers that it understands its own ethical responsibilities and then can help them respond to their own.”


Paul Klein is president of Impakt Corporation, a Toronto-based outfit that helps corporations increase the returns on their community investments.