CTN - Innovation in Communication

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Has Corporate Social Responsibility peaked?

The UK's top companies are still not taking CSR seriously, making little effort to improve their on line communication of
CSR to investors and other key stakeholders.

That's the main finding from the 2004 CSR Online Survey, carried out by communications specialists, CTN. The survey assessed the websites of all FTSE 100 and 250 companies, evaluating the scope and effectiveness of their CSR communications online.

Despite a lot of noise about the growing importance of CSR to reputation and brand, most companies still seem
content to produce long - winded CSR reports. These are more often designed to meet the requirements of the
regulators and specialist CSR agencies than to connect with the general public. Only the most committed net visitor will
be prepared to plough through a 90 page long pdf.

Only the best companies understand how the web can engage visitors to their sites - creating dialogue and capturing feedback.

Richard Coope, Head of CSR Practice at CTN said;

"The reputation of companies is directly linked to the credibility and effectiveness of their CSR actions. While virtually all
FTSE 100 companies now produce comprehensive CSR reports, very few are making any real effort to engage people in
what they are trying to achieve in this important area of activity."

But there are some notable exceptions. The 2004 survey also updated the Online CSR League Table, first published
last year in conjunction with the Financial Times. The League Table ranks FTSE 100 companies according to the
effectiveness of their CSR communications on the web. There is a clear gap between the 'Top 5' and the rest.

BT was ranked in first place, followed by BP and Rio Tinto. mmO2 shot up the rankings to take joint 6th= place - up 33
places from their 2003 survey position. BT and mmO2 were indicated as examples of best practice in engaging users
with their CSR content, with the use of interactive games, online polls and online stakeholder feedback.

Why is this important? Publishing information on social, ethical and environmental risk management will soon be
mandatory for quoted companies - just like reporting their financial performance.

The 2004 Survey shows that Britain's top companies still have a lot of work to do to convince both government and the
general public that they are really serious about CSR.

Survey website: www.csr-survey.org

For further information, please contact

Richard Coope
Head of CSR Practice
+44 (0) 20 7395 4460
[email protected]