Communicating corporate social responsibility: Media agenda building in australia

Angela K Y Mak, Augustine Pang, Elizabeth Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Organisations face several impediments when it comes to communicating their corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement to the public via the media. Using the agenda-building model of Qiu & Cameron (2008), this paper examines public relations practitioners’ and journalists’ perceptions of CSR communication. Fifteen interviews with media professionals and CSR practitioners in Australia were conducted to examine the relationships, tensions and challenges in the process. Findings showed the ineffectiveness of agenda building, as journalists might dismiss a CSR story because of time constraints, a prevalence of other news, wariness of commercialism, lack of interest in pursuing the details, or mistrust of public relations as a source of information. This paper suggests that while CSR activities are newsworthy, practitioners seeking publicity for CSR activities should refrain from using the term CSR, find tailored news angles, show support from top management as spokespersons and develop symbiotic relationships with the media to find a place in the journalism source hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-164
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Communicating corporate social responsibility: Media agenda building in australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this