Globally, there is now a near-universal demand for corporate aid in the aftermath of natural disasters. Nadia Boyce looks at the hyper sensitive issues around the emotions and motives of corporate giving.
Reactive CSR in response to natural disaster brings up complex questions, as high pressure responses to human tragedy create a unique set of circumstances far removed from the ordinary parameters within which CSR initiatives operate.
The past decade has seen numerous destructive events that have formed a basis for study of corporate response, including the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami and earthquake in Japan, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which claimed the lives of around a quarter of a million people.
Australia itself has not been immune – the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009 and the Queensland Floods of 2011 devastated communities and put a spotlight on what the business sector could offer in response.
Released this month by public relations and marketing agency Cone Communications, the Disaster Relief Trend Tracker presents the findings of a global study around consumer expectations and disaster relief as a CSR activity.
The research, conducted among a demographically representative sample of 10,287 adults in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan, suggests 87 per cent of the world’s consumers believe companies must play a role in disaster response.
It also alludes to positive brand messaging for those companies partaking in disaster response, and suggested consumers had great faith in companies to respond – it was believed by consumers they could do so more effectively than government agencies and that they should leverage their ‘unique assets’ to assist.
Yet, the role of the media and publicity, the significance of company motives and the relative importance of reactive disaster responses are issues that remain unclear.
For more information on the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker
by Research & Insights
As communities around the world continue to recover from natural disasters on epic scales, citizens look to companies – not just governments or aid organizations – to provide critical relief assistance. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker, nearly nine-in-10 global consumers believe companies must play a role in natural disaster response – in part because the majority (69%) thinks corporations are better able to effectively respond.