Operationalizing genuineness in CSR communication for public engagement on social media

Cindy Sing Bik Ngai*, Rita Gill Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Public relations professionals from global corporations have increasingly communicated corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices on social media to engage publics. Yet the link between CSR communication of global corporations, particularly with regard to the dimensions of genuineness exhibited in their communication and public engagement on social media is under-researched in China. This empirical study conceptualized and operationalized the dimensions of genuineness, which encompass providing information about different CSR themes, being responsive to publics, demonstrating empathy, and being consistent in what corporations say and do, and then investigated how global corporations engaged Chinese publics through genuine CSR communication on Sina Weibo. Enhanced public engagement outcomes of comments, likes, and shares were observed for the provision of information about the community involvement and development CSR theme alongside the use of empathy. This study informs public relations scholars and practitioners about the importance of providing information on the CSR theme of community involvement and demonstrating empathy to generate higher public engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102122
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number5
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • CSR communication
  • Empathy
  • Genuineness
  • Public engagement
  • Social media


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