The former post about new media issue worked very well for me. I found that my memory straightly after class is the clearest. Therefore, I just want to keep the habit to write the content of the class every week in the evening of Wednesday (hopefully I can keep it for the next weeks).
Today, we had an extremely interest guy talking about science PR, and he arouse my great interest in science PR.
The points he mentioned on the class include:
Why the Science Media Centre exist?
This is the needs of both the media and the scientists.
What are the strategies?
Rapid reaction (breaking news); round up (planned agenda); meetings with journalists and experts
How to choose story?
News worthy; or according to journalists’ agenda
He said there were only 6 people in his office. They built a bridge to connect media together with experts. They give journalists news and give experts to disseminate their ideas. So they are a perfect platform of science information. It is a complete charity, so it only receives funding but does not have the responsibility to give donators something back. It is important to build the trust with media colleagues, so there is no spin. The centre is set up by a group of passionate people with the hope to develop the science environment in the society.
So from what he mentioned before, I see there is a great social responsibility of these people, and of course they have a very clever business mind to run the centre.
I think this model of science and media business can work very well in China too. There is a great space to develop the contemporary science environment in China. And the dissemination of scientific information is quite free. I just see a great opportunity in this aspect. Talking about my idea with Viola a little bit, both of us realized the concerns of doing this, which are, the funding problems and difficulty in building the networks of scientific and media support in the complex social environments. But I will still keep an eye on it.
The second part of the class is mainly the debate, of course, this is again another heated one, for most of us have already had some normal perceptions about the problem.
The term-CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), is first known to me by far. With more corporate understanding the severe situation about our earth, they began to fulfill their social responsibilities, such as donating charities or helping the poor. But constant controversy has been raised about the ultimate motivation of their so-called ‘socially good contribution’.
Is CSR window dressing?
My opinion is that the good behavior of corporate will definitely do a lot of good to the people who need help. But for the rest public, it is necessary for us to look clearly what the corporate real purpose of doing CSR is.
There are potential business benefits of CSR: firstly, it can be one big attraction of recruiting new people, giving the company a good title, such as ‘top good companies for graduates’. What’s more, CSR is long term reputation management plan, and it helps to build up a positive social image. Here, long term means that there is no short term outcome (increasing sales) for the company, however, if a crisis happens, the good image, which were already in consumers’ mind, can contribute to the successful solution. Thirdly, CSR can differ one corporate from the others. For example, there are two brands of biscuit, one normal brand, and the other brand with 1 pound donation to the charity for each purchase, in most cases, the consumer will prefer to buy the second one. Finally, fulfilling CSR can help companies to get license to operate, and pay less tax in some areas according to the local laws. This is one of the ways government uses to advocate environment protection.
Therefore, based on the four business benefits of CSR, the company would always like to do it. CSR can improve the reputation, solve problems, and also save money. For me, I just think there are no points of not doing it.
But what I would not like to see is that some companies utilize CSR activities as a tool to distract the public from their main ethical problems. McDonald, BP (British Petroleum), and BAT (British American Tobacco) are all problematic. They have issues of bring damage to health or environment. They every year would spend a lot of money on charity. What usually appear on media are about their good deed, but not about how many problems they have caused.
Therefore, I want to conclude there are purposes for corporate to do CSR. CSR is good, but its purpose needs to be well aware of.