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How can companies succeed in forming CSR reputation?

Sun Young Lee (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 3 October 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the channels companies use to communicate their corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages and to test the effectiveness of those channels – specifically, press releases, corporate websites, CSR reports, corporate Facebook pages, and TV advertising – on forming companies’ CSR reputations.


The two primary methods used in this study were secondary analysis of existing data and content analysis. The study sample was the 101 companies in the Reputation Institute’s 2014 CSR ranking of the 100 most highly regarded companies (two companies were tied) across 15 countries.


Corporate websites and CSR reports were the most common channels for CSR communications, but press releases – through their impact on news articles – and general corporate Facebook pages were the only effective channels in forming CSR reputation.


This study provides empirical evidence of the effectiveness of various CSR communication channels; it not only focuses on CSR reputation, a specific aspect of corporate reputation which has not been studied in this context before, but also examines several different channels simultaneously, in contrast to previous studies which have only investigated one or two channels at a time.



Lee, S.Y. (2016), "How can companies succeed in forming CSR reputation?", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 435-449.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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