Corporate Social Responsibility 2.0

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Corporate Social Responsibility 2.0

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Dueling strategies for corporations to make a difference-what could be better?! #cmf12 #sis12 #csr
Friday, May 25, 2012 - 5:30pm

CAMPAIGN: 2012 Social Innovation Summit


Last month, the Seattle Times kicked off a four-part critical series about locally-based Amazon with an expose on the company's lack of organized philanthropy in the community. The meme is not new--we've seen similar critique emerge about Apple in the wake of Steve Jobs' death and the Foxconn scandal. What was surprising was the backlash to the criticism reflected in the comments about the article on Here at Waggener Edstrom, it caused us to wonder: has the American public changed its expectations for corporate social responsibility?

Next week, two conferences go head-to-head on the topic of corporate support for public good. In Chicago, the Cause Marketing Forum (CMF) will celebrate its 10th anniversary covering the intersection of commerce and cause. In New York, the Social Innovation Summit will hold its 3rd semi-annual invitation-only networking event focused on public-private partnerships.

At first blush, it might seem surprising that two events with such overlap in focus would be held at the same time. But, the reality is that many corporations treat cause marketing and traditional philanthropy or NGO partnerships as separate endeavors managed from different pockets of the organization. And, to be sure, cause marketing isn't for everyone. It is a relatively newer strategy--the term dates back to the American Express Statue of Liberty restoration campaign launched in 1983, but similar applications precede the coining--that has largely been the domain of consumer focused companies looking to drive sales by linking to a social issue of importance to customers. The SI Summit, on the other hand, is focused on innovating longer-held corporate approaches to partnerships and giving.

Waggener Edstrom is a sponsor and facilitator of the 2012 SI Summit, and WE will also have senior agency representatives at CMF (including yours truly). Watch this space for blog posts examining the hot topics and emerging trends from both events next week. We'll also explore the question of whether we are in the midst of a sea change in corporate social responsibility.

In the meantime, here is a sampling of the folks we'll be following on Twitter from both events:

Cause Marketing Forum






@k8e4d (WE)

Social Innovation Summit





@seemabhende (WE)

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Education | Events, Media & Communications | Giving | Innovation & Technology | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Social Impact & Volunteering | cause marketing | corporation | csr | philanthropy

CAMPAIGN: 2012 Social Innovation Summit