The U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center and IBM have issued a new report that explores how efforts by businesses to be a positive force in communities – commonly referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR) – influences public perception of those companies.
The report, titled, “The CSR Effect: Social Media Sentiment and the Impact on Brands,” examines the connection between companies that promote their corporate citizenship work and the resulting impact on public sentiment.
The study found that, among social media users who initially hold neutral views about a company, learning of a company’s (CSR) programming can move sentiment about the company into positive territory. Additionally, over time, companies who increased online promotion of their CSR efforts experienced improvements in how they are viewed by social media users.
“Corporate social responsibility initiatives benefit both communities and businesses, and those efforts have even more impact as more and more businesses focus on societal improvement,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “This research shows that CSR can change how people feel about a company, and we hope it inspires businesses across the country to make corporate citizenship a cornerstone of their mission.”
“Doing well by doing good is not only an important aspect of corporate culture, but it could also offer positive returns for a company of any size or industry,” said Diane Melley, vice president of IBM Global Citizenship Initiatives. “This joint study demonstrates that corporate citizenship work does in fact change how people view a company.”
To read the full report, please click here.
The research and analysis was made possible through an Impact Grant from IBM, which provided both consulting and technology support. The two-year joint study measured public sentiment using IBM Social Media Analytics.
This joint collaboration is part of IBM’s philanthropic impact grants, which arm non-profits, governments, and institutions with skills and expertise to better serve their communities. Using IBM’s social media analytics technology, a powerful monitoring tool that can analyze opinions and commentary drawn from online communities, forums, and blogs, non-profit organizations can be more responsive and precise in meeting their constituents’ needs.