Corporate Social Responsibility in 2020: Are companies being genuine, or jumping on the bandwagon?
It seems to have been globally agreed upon that 2020 has been a crazy year. From the kickstart of the global pandemic to the presidential election to the major socio-political movements, it feels as though we have been sitting in the middle of a media hurricane.
With all of these conflicts rising in society, the media has taken that as an opportunity to adapt to the current state of its consumer’s minds. Corporate Social Responsibility, also known as CSR, is a business model that is used to keep companies socially accountable in terms of social activism and philanthropy. In the past few months, the rug has been lifted to expose the tragedies and mistreatments affecting minority groups in the United States, increasing the flood of support to movements like Black Lives Matter. With this movement taking over every social media platform, many businesses rushed to take a stance and empathize with the communities affected.
While many businesses succeeded in embracing the community through their communication of equality and BLM sponsorship, some companies made costly mistakes. Journalist Jessica Camille Aguirre called out the slip-up of the major New York advertising agency McCann in a Vanity Fair article. This agency rushed to hire an artist to paint a BLM mural for their client Microsoft “while the protests were still relevant.” This short-sighted message caused fury among audiences and revealed the lack of authenticity from one of the dominant advertising agencies in the country.
Corporate Social Responsibility can be very advantageous in showing consumers that a business cares and gives back to its community. However, when it's not done with enough care or lacks attention to detail, it can prove to be counterproductive and cause upheaval.
For some examples of CSR done right this past year, check out the links below!