Many people are aware of the term CSR these days from the companies that emphasize the word a lot. CSR, corporate social responsibility, is a self-regulating system where business ensures its agreement with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. It has become a business strategy trend that many companies are trying to nail its image to the public.
CSR is an important concept in public relations. I also agree CSR to be an important concept because it not only improves a company’s image, but I believe a company should contribute in helping the community to become a better place for living. People start to use products or services of a company when they see it trying to shape the community to become a better place. They feel as if the company is not only trying to earn benefits for itself, but to provide goods for everyone. I also feel more attached to companies that pursue CSR compared to companies that do not.
A recent CSR I found interesting is the Coca Cola environmental campaign. Coca Cola is aiming to support the recycling system in our community by persuading people to recycle Coca Cola bottles. However, I also found it very contradicting that Coca Cola is trying to sell its products and also contributing to CSR. Coca Cola, the product itself, is a drink that harms people’s health. I remember seeing a public service announcement video last summer from the news regarding how soda can harm our community by increasing all kinds of illnesses.
I started to wonder whether Coca Cola is really trying to pursue CSR to help our community or to sell its products to the people by creating a good image. I would not be able to know the answer, but I was just a bit suspicious as to whether Coca Cola is trying to take advantage of CSR.
I do not want to penalize Coca Cola for its new campaign that it is pursuing, but watching its campaign video made me thought that there can be other companies who might be also taking advantage of CSR because it is the hot business trend that many companies are pursuing. I had a very positive thought towards CSR until few years ago when I saw companies like Toms contributing to our community, but increase in CSR made me doubtful these days. I hope companies do not try to take advantage of CSR because people will know if CSR is not pursued with an honest purpose. I think our society is smart enough to figure out and differentiate between REAL CSR and FAKE CSR.