CTN - Innovation in Communication

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Embargoed: Friday 23 May 2003

BRITAIN'S BEST KEPT CORPORATE SECRET

Companies are not normally shy when it comes to telling the world how well they are doing. So why are Britain's biggest companies so coy when it comes to talking about their record on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

The first ever survey of how FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies are communicating CSR online shows that many companies have been slow to promote what they are doing in this increasingly important area.

The CSR Online Survey was carried out jointly by CSR consultancy FUTERRA and communications agency CTN.

One key finding is that companies ranked highly for their CSR work by Business in the Community, fare much worse when it comes to communicating their achievements on their website - their most important channel of communication. The reverse is true for companies with a poor BiTC CSR ranking.

Of the FTSE 100, 97 mention CSR on their website but only 81 have a full report - and only 36 make it useful and attractive to users by offering some form of interaction.

Of the FTSE 250, 93 mention CSR, 78 have case studies and only 48 a full report.

'However great a company's reputation for CSR, however much money they've thrown at it - if they're not giving it public profile, you have to question their commitment.' says Solitaire Townsend of FUTERRA.

'CSR is Britain's best kept corporate secret.' Says Gary Mitchell from CTN. 'Given that most investor relations executives now recognise the strong business case for CSR, you might expect companies would be making much more of what they are doing. But it simply isn't the case.'

'We believe it's in their best interest - as well as that of the wider community - to do more to get their message across'.

Ends


Notes

FUTERRA
FUTERRA is a new type of business; both consultancy and advocacy (originally prime funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). We are dedicated to improving the communication of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. www.futerracom.org

CTN
CTN is one of the UK's leading communications agencies - producing creative interactive and video communication for a wide variety of FTSE 100 companies. CTN is also behind the annual Investor Relations Webcast Survey, which ranks the use of webcasting for financial reporting. www.ctn.co.uk

ACCA and CorporateRegister
The survey criteria are based on the joint Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and CorporateRegister publication 'Environmental, Social and Sustainability Reporting on the World Wide Web: A Guide to Best Practice'. The publication can be downloaded as a PDF from www.corporateregister.com and www.accaglobal.com .


Contact details

Solitaire Townsend
FUTERRA - Director
+44 (0) 20 7733 6363
[email protected]
www.futerracom.org

Mary White
CTN
+44 (0) 20 7395 4460
[email protected]
www.ctn.co.uk

Survey website: www.csr-survey.org