Powerpoint slide template (QUT Business School)

Report
Public Relations Institute of Australia
Research Colloquium
17 November 2013
Adelaide Australia
Dr Kim Johnston
School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Why engagement?
• Proposed as new PR paradigm (Edelman, 2008, Stoker &
Tusinski, 2006)
• Leads to more satisfactory relationships (Bortree, 2011)
• Reduces and enhances pro-social relationships between
an organisation and its consumers (Bruce & Shelly, 2010)
• Public dialogue proposed as a (one of) means of
engagement (see for example Taylor, 2004)
• Conceived as a mutually oriented state of mind that is
willing to give their whole selves to communication
encounters (Kent and Taylor, 2001)
Engagement - public relations
• Definitional ambiguity
– Levels (individual and group), theory and guidance
– Perspectives
• Instrumental (managerial)
• Psychological
Community Engagement
• Originated in participatory democracy
– Citizen participation seen as normative and pragmatic
– Viewed as fashionable in public policy discourse
• Concepts of participation, involvement and engagement e.g.:
– Stakeholder engagement
– Corporate social responsibility
– Community building, involving, and proactive (Hallahan,
2004)
• As empowerment or as communication?
– Public participation
– Consultation (dialogue)
– Information
Community Engagement
• A process for organisations to involve publics
– Socially-inclusive & responsive form of organisational
decision-making
– engaging a community for specific programs can lead
to better organisational & social outcomes
Consumer organisations “engaging”
• A “societal” process
– “by which individuals & groups obtain what they need & want
through creating, offering & freely exchanging products & services
of value with others”
(Kotler, 2000, p. 4)
• Marketing shifts
– shift to a co-creation perspective
– value is created & shared by stakeholders
(Gamble & Gilmore, 2013).
– failure by marketers to see the broader societal context of
business decision making, sometimes with disastrous results for
their organization and society.
(Smith, Drumwright, & Gentile, 2010, p. 4)
Narratives in community engagement
• An organization’s CSR efforts
– "directed towards individual citizens & community groups”
(Bowen et al., 2010, p. 297)
– CSR - the duty to meet or exceed stakeholder norms dictating
desirable organisational behaviours (Maignan and Ferrell, 2004,
p. 5).
• Public opinion
– Alignment with, or reflective of, public demands and expectations
• products, services, actions, decisions, brand(s), values,
image, reputation, and CSR policies… and pressing issues
(Vallentin, 2009, p. 72)
Research questions
• RQ1: How is community engagement conceptualised in
the Australian banking industry?
• RQ2: What tactics are used to engage communities?
• RQ3: How are community engagement activities
reported?
• RQ4: What are the dominant themes that emerge in
community engagement activities in Australian banks?
Model and Propositions
P1 The organisation will act to influence
the public opinion environment through a
range of tactics
P5
Organisation
P2 The social/ public opinion environment
will influence consumer & stakeholder
opinions
P3 The social/ public opinion environment
will influence the nature of products &
services offered – level of impact will vary
according to nature of business
P1
Product/
Service
P4
P3
Social – public
opinion
environment
P2
Consumer
retailer supplier
distributor
P4 The organisation will target consumers
mindful of social expectations & norms
P5 Community engagement framework is
a marketing orientation that acts to influence
the social public opinion environment
Model: community engagement marketing
orientation
Method
• Historical and comparative
• Four major banks – ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac
• The unit of analysis
– published community engagement chapter, section, or strategy/
framework/ principles
• *Engagement terms (varied: engagement/ sustainability/
community)
– public documents sourced from corporate website
• Coding instrument (Nvivo 10)
– descriptive and topic categories
• normative use of terms, philosophies, characterisations,
message framing, tactics used to engage with community
members.
– Interpretive - relationships
Analysis & findings
RQ 1: How community engagement is
conceptualised, or talked about
• A strategy - ‘framework’ or ‘principles’
• Purpose (by strength of themes)
1. Anticipate, identify, respond to & “shape” social issues
• Achieve shared meaning through listening & dialogue
2. Be an active & responsible member of the community
• capacity building
• creating value for people wider community
• investment in the community
• responsibilities to communities - social outcomes - "Make a
difference“
3. Connecting with local community
• “Supporting”… general & specific i.e. Indigenous
• “Grass roots” partnerships
RQ 2: Tactics used to engage communities
• High degree of similarity across all banks
• Variation in “language” used to describe activities
– Philanthropy
• Volunteering
• Sponsorships
– Specialist programs
• Indigenous inclusion* (one only)
• Disaster relief
– Resources given
• Education programs i.e.:
microfinance
• “investing” in communities
– Consultation
• Formal
• Relationship building
– External advisory groups
• Customer/ community/
indigenous/ expert/ celebrity
i.e.: Tim Costello
• Workshops and public forums
– Research
• Focus groups
• Formal surveys
– Employees*
• Engagement surveys
RQ 3: Reporting of community engagement
activities
1. Sustainability reporting
– CSR benchmarks
2. Financial spend
– Money “spent” on community
__________________________
3. Community contribution
– Sponsorships and programs
RQ 4: Dominant themes
Four dominant themes (equal representation)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Anticipate “big” shifts in demographic and cultural change
– consumer expectations
– Environmental
– Issue identification (scanning and response)
Financial outcomes
Satisfy industry, government and social expectations
Good corporate citizen (rhetoric – reputation based)
– Responsive to social needs
• Helping and Listening
– Contributing to society
– Responsible
– Attractive employer
– CSR established and reported
Discussion
• Corporate narratives
– Demonstrate proactive behaviours
• Issues management and control
– Corporate focused
• Good corporate citizen
– “We did good!”
• Evidence of genuine community involvement
– Financial measures only
• Community voice
– Panels and committees
– Resources provided
• Community “partnerships”
– “grass roots”
Discussion (cont)
• Insight into how consumer organisations’ conceptualise
engagement
– Perception of good corporate citizen
– “Doing right by doing good”
• Evidence of orchestrating program to respond to public
opinion
– Social issues salient to local communities
• Bullying and mental health issues
Propositions
P1 & P2:
• The organisation will act to influence the public opinion environment through a
range of tactics; The social/ public opinion environment will influence consumer &
stakeholder opinions - Supported
– Recognition of scanning and monitoring by banks – proactive issue
identification
– Justification of programs and sponsorships (to shareholders) reflecting
response (responsiveness) to identified or emergent social issues
•
P3: The social/ public opinion environment will influence the nature of products &
services offered – level of impact will vary according to nature of business –
Supported
– Financial education programs
– Bullying/ social justice/ philanthropic programs
– Indigenous and minority groups
– Staff philanthropy activities
Propositions (cont)
•
P4: The organisation will target
consumers mindful of social
expectations & norms – Supported
– Regional financial management
– Community investment
– “Language” choice
– Recognition of social expectations
•
P5: Community engagement
framework is a marketing orientation
that acts to influence the social public
opinion environment – Supported
– Evidence of corporate narratives
and embedded practice beyond
consumer exchange
P5
Organisation
P1
Social –
public
opinion
environment
Product/
Service
P4
P3
P2
Consumer
retailer
supplier
distributor
Implications
• Demonstrates the influence of social and public opinion
environment on the organisation-consumer relationships
The social environment acts to influence the organisation and the decisions
that it makes for both products and services, and the resources, nature,
goals for its relationships with customers
• Relationship management not new for public relations (role)
– New for “product” orientation (dimension of marketing mix)
– Translation/ monitoring of public opinion beyond reputation
to products and services
– Opportunity for public relations
Questions
Thank you

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