How Coca-Cola Uses Social Media to Promote Corporate Social Initiatives

19792301106_fa09faba36_zWhat is the most effective way for companies to implement corporate social marketing (CSM)? In the Social Marketing Quarterly article “Examining Public Response to Corporate Social Initiative Types: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Coca-Cola’s Social Media,” authors Lucinda L. Austin and Barbara Miller Gaither suggest that the effectiveness depends upon the the corporate social initiative (CSI) type and the message content more than anything else. The abstract for the paper:

Corporate social initiatives (CSIs) are increasingly important in boosting public acceptance for companies, and emerging research suggests corporate social marketing (CSM) could be Current Issue Coverthe most effective type of CSI. However, scholars caution that CSM is not a one-size-fits-all. Through a content analysis of Coca-Cola’s social media posts on potentially controversial topics related to sustainability, health, and social change, this study explores how CSI type and message content influence public response to an organization’s social media corporate social responsibility posts. Posts emphasizing socially responsible business practices generally received the most favorable public response, while posts focused on cause promotion were received the most negatively. Findings also suggest that CSM is less effective when the issue and advocated behavior change appears to be acting against the company’s interests.

You can read “Examining Public Response to Corporate Social Initiative Types: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Coca-Cola’s Social Media” from Social Marketing Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Social Marketing Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Coca-Cola image attributed to Aranami (CC)

Is It Unfair to Blame Fast-Food Corporations for Obesity?

burgur-isolated-1014535-mAccording to an online article from the Obesity Action Coalition, in the United States there are approximately three hundred thousand fast-food establishments and 33.8% percent of the country’s population is obese. But how closely are the two connected? Who’s to blame if they are? Judith Schrempf discusses this in her article “A Social Connection Approach to Corporate Responsibility: The Case of Fast-Food Industry and Obesity” from Business and Society.

The abstract:

Corporate responsibility for consumption-related issues has been on the business ethics agendaBAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpoint for several decades. However, some recent consumption-related issues, such as obesity, differ qualitatively from the traditional product liability cases. This study proposes an alternative responsibility concept, referred to as the social connection corporate responsibility (CR). A detailed conceptualization of the social connection CR is presented and subsequently contrasted with the liability approach to CR. Then, a social connection logic to the case of obesity is applied, followed by an examination of how fast-food chains are socially connected to obesity and of what kind of responsibilities such a social connection implies.

Click here to read “A Social Connection Approach to Corporate Responsibility: The Case of Fast-Food Industry and Obesity” from Business and Society for free. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts by clicking here and keep up with all the latest from Business and Society!


The CSR Agenda: Part 4 of 5

On Tuesday, Forbes published a case study about a corporate social responsibility strategy that spelled the difference between life and death:

Around 2000, Xerox was in big trouble. According to Dr. Joseph Cahalan, Xerox’s Vice President of Communications and Social Responsibility, the company was literally “days” away from filing for bankruptcy. Still, employees didn’t defect en masse like rats from a sinking ship. On the contrary, they rallied around the Xerox banner, fighting tooth and nail to keep the company afloat as if the company was a local mom and pop shop, not a Fortune 500. Cahalan attributes this to the culture which attracted him to work for Xerox in the first place: “People stayed and made that fight to save the company, in large part because they feel that it’s a company worth saving.”

How did Xerox earn this kind of loyalty?

Click here to read the article in Forbes.

What corporate social responsibility strategies are playing out in your research or practice? In this fourth installment of our series on CSR, we present an assortment of articles that tackle the issues across the field. We also hope to hear from you: CSR-related papers are currently being sought by SAGE journals from the Journal of Marketing Education and  Organization & Environment to Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and Business & Society. You can view some of the latest Calls for Papers here.

Part Four: How are the current shifts in CSR strategy playing out?

Click here to read “A Social Connection Approach to Corporate Responsibility: The Case of the Fast-Food Industry and Obesity” by Judith Schrempf of University of Richmond, published on July 24, 2012 in Business & Society.

Click here to read “The Prospects and Limits of Eco-Consumerism: Shopping Our Way to Less Deforestation?” by Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister, both of the University of British Columbia, published in the June 2010 issue of Organization & Environment.

Click here to read “Organization-Based Social Marketing: An Alternative Approach for Organizations Adopting Sustainable Business Practices” by Mary Franks Papakosmas of the University of Wollongong and Gary Noble and John Glynn, both of the Sydney Business School and Faculty of Commerce, published in the June 2012 issue of Social Marketing Quarterly.

Click here to read “Societal Development Through Human Resource Development: Contexts and Key Change Agents” by Namhee Kim of Walden University, published in the August 2012 issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources.

Click here to read “Does Environmental Certification Help the Economic Performance of Hotels? Evidence from the Spanish Hotel Industry” by María-del-Val Segarra-Oña and Ángel Peiró-Signes of the Universitat Politècnica de València, Rohit Verma of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and Luis Miret-Pastor of the Universitat Politècnica de València, published in the August 2012 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s series finale, in which we’ll close with thoughts on constructing a CSR agenda for the future.

The Implications of Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity, Academic Achievement, and School Expenditures”, by Tami Gurley-Calvez and Amy Higginbotham, both of West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, was the most frequently read article in Public Finance Review in 2010. Tami Gurley-Calvez has provided some additional background to the article:

Childhood obesity rates are rising at alarming rates. Yet the long-term consequences of childhood obesity are not well understood.  In addition to impacting life-long health outcomes, childhood obesity might have long-term implications in other areas, such as productivity, health care utilization and expenditures, and education.  Our study begins to address these issues by examining the relationship between childhood obesity and academic achievement, and whether the negative achievement effects of obesity can be offset with increased school funding.  Future work is likely to address these issues as well as the consequences of these achievement effects on educational attainment and labor market outcomes.  Our results suggest substantial increases in educational funding would be necessary to offset obesity effects for low-income children but there is a critical need for more research to assess where government spending is best targeted to address childhood obesity-related health and education issues.   Ideally, researchers from a variety of disciplines will contribute to the growing body of evidence and collaborate on identifying the most effective policy options.

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