YI recently graduated in Corporate Communications, after having left a bit aside this blog.

Yesterday, while tidying up my desk and scanning some notes I took drafting my master thesis, I found something interesting: scattered thoughts about a post I read last November.

I remember it was an attempt to outline the idea of CSR I later structured , in the thesis, starting from a critical literature review on Corporate Social Responsibility,  Stakeholder Theory, and Social Media.

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When I watched this video for the first time, I remember, I felt a bit surprised by its contradictoriness.

It performs an informal dialogue between Mitch Markson, Chief Creative Officer and founder of Edelman Goodpurpose, and Carol Cone, EVP and Managing Director Edelman Brand & Corporate Citizenship, to present the Edelman report Good Purpose 2010 (a  “global research that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including […] their expectations of brands and corporation“).

The report is not even strictly about CSR, but, as we’ll see, it’s closer to Cause Related Marketing.
So why on earth I’m feeling the need to talk about it?

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seth godinI came across this nice post by Seth Godin.

It is a very plain reflection (maybe even manichaean) about the firm’s responsibilities.
I really enjoyed it, and that’s the reason why I want to write my take on it, from “this blog’s point of view” (read as: IMHO).

The post starts with: “Let’s assert that marketing works”, that marketing is powerful and able to change other’s mind.
That is, I, as a firm, can sell my products to death, exploiting all the marketing solutions, but, at least, am I responsible for what I market?
In Seth’s opinion, just two options are feasible.
You can in fact choose either to be responsible or not about those products.

If you’re NOT responsible, you let your customers for instance (or in general your stakeholders if you like) take responsibility of the consequences eventually caused by your goods.

On the contrary if you are (or decide to be) responsible “[y]our insight and effort cause people to change, and without you, that change would never happen“.

The Godin’s take is: if you’re not proud of it, don’t sell it.

Although he couldn’t be more right, I want to put this issue another way.

Actually you are responsible with regard to business performance both if you are responsible for what you market and not.
So the question, at this point, could be not only, and maybe not anymore, “Are you responsible for what you market?“, but, also considering the effects: could it be worth to transfer responsibilities to stakeholders when you sell your products?

In other words, are you sure you can afford the risk of  relying on other’s choice just grossly knowing  about the parameters they will apply?
It likely could affect your business as a whole, and you will never be able to avoid negative outcomes because you are refusing to build a basis on which negotiating your stances.
And “[a]voiding negative outcomes reduces expenses as well as reducing the risks associated with variations in returns” (here p. 96).
Choosing not to be responsible you’ll be targeted by your stakeholders.
Briefly, in the Porter and Kramer’s words:

Governments, activists, and the media have become adept at holding companies to account for the social consequences of their activities. Myriad organizations rank companies on the performance of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and […] these rankings attract considerable publicity.
(Porter M. E., Kramer M. R., “Strategy and Society. The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility”, Harvard Business Review, December 2006)

Thus, would you prefer to be accountable for the business performance relying on something you cannot control at all, or would you rather prefer to use your responsibilities (those you understand are the ones you have to take) as a policy through which you can roughly manage the consequences of your activities?

Be proud of it, here, is another way to say think about it.

The video I’m going to reflect upon is just phenomenal (it is so motivating, and I don’t think “full of shit” as Loic Le Meur defines the speaker during the speech, obviously kidding and kindly trying to annoy him).

Maybe I’m a bit late as it’s about LeWeb 2009 … by the way the speaker is Gary Vaynerchuck.

Who’s Gary Vaynerchuck?!

Probably this name reminds something to some of you … but for those who don’t know him, here there are his websitehis book and a sentence from the video:

we live in a world where the platform, not fucking Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr [in which he’s investing at the moment], the internet, that thing, the internet, that’s 15 years old, by the way the consumer internet is only 15 years old, the fucking thing is it hasn’t had sex yet and it’s dominating.”  (That’s ALSO not just him.)

Actually he gives his best on stage during a talk, so if you’ve never watched him you HAVE TO remedy 😉

Gary speaks about passion, as always.
The passion is the only thing needed to run a business nowadays.

My hope is that people recognize how big this social shift is right now, how the cost of getting involved and building a business around what you love is so low.

However, the purpose of this post, is to exploit an anecdote he reports, to remark what, in my opinion, is the future not just of the CSR (that I hope will disappear soon – I probably will write on this topic later on) but of the entire organization: understanding the “art” of living the chaos, or managing stakeholders if you like.
Stakeholder Management, which overlaps (mainly in the CSR field) with the activity of engaging with stakeholders (“users” in Gary’s speech), is, in fact, the forge of the next future tools in this way.

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“Back” from virtual conference (I’d say one of the best of this kind I’ve ever attended) I’m totally satisfied and also a bit sad for not having had the time to deepen every single topic…

Actually I’m going to watch again every panel and every slide (stored in the system for 90 days from the last 30th of June) to examine better some parts I could have missed…to write about them maybe at a later time.

But you cannot wait till the knowledge comes, this is a blog, life goes forth, so I want to point out at least what in my opinion could be relevant for everyone interested in this blog’s topic.

Let me first step back to the platform (here the video tutorial) I used to attend the conference.
Once logged in (I warmly recommend you to fill the form and try to obtain the access) you can enter the three main areas (buildings) where to even download some papers and PDFs or (just during the event) chat with participants and speakers.
I have to say that the experience was very stimulating.

In this post I want to focus my attention on one topic only, if you want to have an idea of the event in general you can read this post .

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Even if I actually don’t have any problem in understanding english, I’ve never tried to write a post in this language.

To this day I’m convinced that the relevance of the blog’s topic (not of the blog itself, I’m not such a pundit), would require some more effort in order to spread the word in a better way and maybe to create some useful connections.

So here I am.
My first post in english deals with an event I came across here just yesterday, thanks to Fabian Pattberg, called: Engage CSR 2010.

Engage CSR 2010

It will take place online on the next Wednesday at 11:30AM or 5:30PM EST.
Registration here is needed to attend it.

The conference is about Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Media:

In today’s interconnected communications landscape where customers, consumers, investors and stakeholders can now interact directly with organizations, the underlying opportunities for engagement have never been greater. Simultaneously, the growth of corporate social responsibility has created a demand for timely information related to CSR initiatives.

Public and private companies, as well as nonprofit organizations, are increasingly leveraging social media to generate awareness for their social responsibility efforts.
How are leading brands and organizations showcasing their CSR activities in the social landscape?
What are the best practices for success?

In my humble opinion the agenda is pretty remarkable.
I think I’ll write about the panels I’ll be interested in, here, in the days following the event.

Well… stay tuned …

Spesso si tratta semplicemente di eleganza.

Sfortunatamente, altrettanto di frequente, la sua assenza, soprattutto per ciò che riguarda lo stile di alcune espressioni, porta ad imprecisioni e fraintendimenti a dir poco pericolosi.

In questo post vorrei dar spazio ad un paio di citazioni che illustrano meglio tale carenza, spunti per iniziare a tracciare delle linee non certo dei confini.

A partire da questi primi sussulti, gradualmente, nel tempo, il blog lascerà emergere una visione di Corporate Responsibility, al momento accennata per sottrazione criticando quanto di sicuramente ad essa estraneo,  frutto di ragionamenti condotti sul parallelo suo indipendente svilupparsi in letteratura.

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