August 28, 2015, by ICCSR

Read all about it: ICCSR in the media

One of the occasionally overlooked functions of the ICCSR is to provide incisive comment on corporate responsibility issues in the media. Just recently two articles in The Guardian newspaper drew on such insights, both of them incorporating the views of Paul Caulfield, who is director of our MBA programme in CSR.

The first Guardian piece, entitled ‘Can business make profits and improve employee rights and wellbeing?’looked at whether – in a globalised labour market characterised by outsourcing and low wages – there is any space for promoting the social wellbeing and interests of employees.

Paul told author Oliver Balch that businesses need to stop viewing workers as resources to be maximised, and to start seeing them as individuals who contribute to corporate profits. ‘Maybe we need to get rid of all human resources managers and call them human relationship managers,’ he suggested.

The second Guardian article, also by Balch, looked at whether the idea of product or company boycotts by consumers has now had its day, given that many people can take to social media to voice their criticisms of companies.

Entitled ‘Do we still need boycotts when you can send an angry tweet?’ the piece again quoted Paul, who argued that social media is such an immediate medium that it can act as an early warning signal for companies, who can therefore identify potential reputational problems before a full-blown boycott campaign even gets off the ground.

“Boycotts are effective, but they don’t have to happen now”, he said. “Thanks to social media, the fear of a bad hashtag means that damage is done before a boycott actually has to happen.”

The Guardian’s Sustainable Business section quite frequently turns to the ICCSR for comment, but we also field media queries from many other publications, including business magazines and the specialist CSR press. Sometimes these will be handled by our press office, other times by individual staff members who have a good working relationship with the journalist in question.

‘Everyone has to be media savvy these days,’ says Paul. ‘Being quoted in the media is, of course, a useful way of raising our profile and of publicising the things we do. But it also helps us to crystallise some of the thoughts we have and occasionally it also acts as a stimulus for us to come up with new ideas, perhaps for course materials or events.’


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