Using public relations for corporate social responsibility
Reeves, Catherine Holley
MetadataShow full item record
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has increased significantly in academic research and professional practice since the 1970s, expanding from the business realm to the public relations field. Nevertheless, the perceptions of PR professionals and their relationship with CSR programs remain largely unstudied. Through in-depth interviews with 11 communications professionals in nine diverse companies with active corporate responsibility programs, this study examines the role of public relations in successful CSR programs. Overwhelmingly, interviewed professionals expressed positive perceptions of CSR initiatives but adamantly opposed public relations’ ownership of the programs. Rather, these practitioners advocated a cross-functional approach with public relations in a supportive or complementary function. The results closely align with trade and mainstream literature. Accordance with academic literature is mixed. Result implications, study limitations, and future research areas are also discussed.