Monday, December 19, 2011

Mapping issues for social responsibility

Being responsible means being able to provide answers. Therefore, understanding the context is a key ability of organizations. The environment can be described in terms of issues and stakeholders. Here is an easy-to-use and useful tool to map issues related to social responsibility:

It is a two-variables matrix:
  1. The type of issue
  2. The status of activation of the issue
The typology of issue refers to the degree of specificity of the issue with respect to the core activities of the organization. The issue can be one of three types:
  • Generic: related to the larger economic, social and environmental context;
  • Related to the value chain: linked to the externalities (positive and negative) of the core activities;
  • Related to the competitive context: may directly affect the possibility to operate.
This typology was suggested by Porter and Kramer on HBR (2006).

The activation status measures how critical is the issue looking at his presence in the public agenda. This classification is proposed by Crable and Vibbert (1985) and consists of five phases of an issue lifecycle: potential, imminent, current, critical, dormant.

The different issues can be mapped and classified using this matrix, make it simpler to read the competitive context and set up the necessary answer strategies.

It goes without saying that the social issues evolve continuously and therefore the map must be updated.

By Marcello Coppa
Managing partner, Anteprima LAB, Italy
Global Affiliate, The Center for Global Public Relations

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How the 2012 global research conference can benefit you

As the date to submit abstracts for our upcoming April 20, 2012 global research conference, “Communicating Beyond Borders: Building Relationships Among Governments, NGOs and Corporations”approaches, here’s a (brief) list of reasons why YOU should attend:
  1. Meet with other scholars/educators and practitioners with similar research interests from the region, nation, and even the world.
  2. Expand your own boundaries. Our conference focuses on more than strictly public relations with an interdisciplinary approach, welcoming scholars from all fields with an interest in government, NGOs and corporate communication.
  3. To engage – this is not a college lecture hall: our conference is set up so you get the chance to interact with other participants through a round table discussion format.
  4. Be inspired to research a new area; at the conference, with diverse participants and topics, you may be motivated to study a new topic you had never considered.
  5. Recharge your batteries – by April, ‘spring fever’ is in full-force. Rejuvenate yourself and your academic interests through interaction with other scholars/educators, practitioners, and students.
  6. Visit Charlotte! Selected to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte is booming as never before – with auto racing, museums, gardens, and excellent Southern cuisine, the city has a lot to offer. Bonus: the average temperature for April is a comfortable 72 degrees.
And to find out the other benefits not listed, be sure to submit an abstract and make plans to attend!
For more information on the 2012 conference, please visit our website:

By Chelsea Wilde