Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study
Asian companies were relatively slow to take to social media, and when they did, they focused largely on marketing and sales than brand building and reputation management.
This study was published in 2010 and 2011 during Charlie Pownall’s time at Burson-Marsteller and established several benchmarks by which companies’ activities on the social web are measured today.
Charlie led the research, editorial and promotion of these studies.
Death or Glory?
It is said that the business of business is business. Paradoxically, this has never been more true, but for those organisations missing the advance of the corporate social responsibility agenda the future has never been more uncertain.
Researched and written for Addison Group (then Addison Corporate Marketing), this report summarises the forces driving social change in the business environment and analyses how organisations are responding through their actions, rhetoric and reporting.
The report’s principal findings were:
- Dissatisfaction with corporate financial accountability, together with more active,
demanding and better informed stakeholders are pressuring companies to be
transparent in all their actions
- An increasing realisation that a stakeholder outlook need not just be a defensive
mechanism, but can deliver significant business and commercial opportunities
has led many companies to accept the ‘why’ case for the stakeholder agenda
- An understanding of how to progress stakeholder dialogue is limited. Organisations
remain essentially reactive, sticking to what they know best until otherwise pressured by an ever more diverse and well-organised stakeholder base
- Despite companies increasingly understanding stakeholder principles, they remain
unsure of the risks, the opportunities and the appropriate delivery models
- Investor focus on corporate decision-making structures as a tool for delivering
results has led to corporate governance and social responsibility emerging as key
elements in effective (investment) risk management
- A discipline in evolution, many companies prefer to avoid ‘fixed’ stakeholder solutions,
instead opting for an informal approach that enables them to draw together the key parts
of the matrix – Corporate Social Responsibility, Reputation Management,
Risk Management and Corporate Governance – in their own ways
- Those addressing stakeholder concerns are mainly doing so by stealth, often starting
by quietly re-organising their communications frameworks, though efforts remain
- Message consistency, cultural and budgetary difficulties are key challenges
companies face when rolling out stakeholder programmes across their organisations
- The stakeholder prerogative is being accelerated by developments in the media
and technology, which are fast altering the balance and dynamics of relationships.
The internet is also becoming a key tool in stakeholder alignment programmes.