Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing Report 2014

Corporate social responsibility marketing is big business, and the 2014 YouGov report ‘CSR and Local Communities’ has been commissioned by Havas PR UK to give organisations the inside track on how to establish positive relationships through community CSR programmes.

Key corporate social responsibility marketing insights from communities

  • Second CSR and the local community report sees Facebook post 5 percentage point rise as a source of local news
  • Local newspapers and TV remain two most popular sources, but popularity has fallen since 2013
  • One in ten, however, think they will leave Facebook in two years’ time

Facebook has grown as a source of local news and trust, according to the 2014 YouGov Sixth Sense report into CSR and the Local Community. Commissioned for the second year by Havas PR UK, 27% of people within communities named Facebook as their top source for local news, a 5 point percentage rise on 2013. The platform does have reasons to be cautious, however, with one in ten people (9%) claiming they expect to have left it in two years’ time.

More than 2,000 people across the UK were asked about levels of trust in social media channels, compared to traditional media. The report also looked at what they define as their community; how they feel private companies should support them, how they hear about Corporate Social Responsibility marketing, and whether local good deeds by companies influence their spending decisions.

Trust in social media is on the up

CSR marketing research from Havas PR

Trust in Facebook is up from 19% to 21%, with trust in Twitter up one percentage point to 15%. Local newspapers are trusted by 64%, with local TV and radio both at 58% and 58%. National newspapers scored just 27% in comparison, with national TV at 43%. Respondents of the survey also fired a warning for brands over which areas of local communities they did not welcome their involvement in. Education and health were deemed areas not to get involved with, both scoring 51%. Local sponsorship by brands is welcomed, by 73% of people.

Havas claims that Facebook is showing signs of eroding into the audience of local media, as national media struggles to retain trust at a community level.

Nigel Hughes, board director at Havas PR, said: “There’s no doubting the importance of local print media, but social media is making its way into a position of more influence locally. The fact ten percent of people expect to leave Twitter or Facebook in two years’ time, however, indicates that brands will need to be ready to adapt as competition for consumer time intensifies. The data shows that producing content which can be tailored for local audiences has a better chance of building trust in a brand.”

According to the YouGov Sixth Sense results, supermarkets head the list when it comes to types of business favoured for community involvement. Banks come in second place, with this figure (50%) up on 2013 suggesting that the sector may be beginning to distance itself from the reputational damage of the last few years.

Nigel Hughes added: “There are clear signs that banks have successfully moved away from the reputational damage of the recession and now have an opportunity to cement a new image working with local communities.  This is especially the case in rural communities where more people than anywhere else welcomed banks and supermarkets’ support.”


Corporate social responsibility marketing case study

The survey looked at last winter’s floods as a case study as to how local Corporate Social Responsibility marketing was received. More than half (53%) of people said they were not aware of private business supporting relief efforts, although a fifth said they were surprised at how selfless business had been.

Nigel Hughes commented: “The disparity in people who had heard of CSR support for floods shows that many businesses didn’t get their messages across in the right way. One looks at the lack of national media impact on local communities and could argue businesses that worked with national media partners in their responses, may have sacrificed local awareness.

With almost a fifth of people claiming businesses could have done more to assist relief efforts, the challenge for brands is to communicate their CSR efforts more effectively.”

For more information and to discuss the report contact See last year’s CSR report here.