“You get what you pay for” and “there’s nothing like being there.” Those adages may be true in many cases, but here’s an exception: yesterday’s “Engage CSR 2010” virtual conference, sponsored by PR Newswire and CSRwire.
Titled “The Growth of Corporate Social Responsibility in a Socially Connected World,” the free online conference was a mix of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social media best practices. The speaker lineup was as good as you’ll find at any premium conference: Mike Wallace of the Global Reporting Initiative; sustainability experts from Merck, Intel, Microsoft, Campbell’s Soup, BT Group and UPS; and several widely renowned, highly engaged consultants. And there were more than 1,000 attendees.
Over the course of 5½ hours, there were two keynote presentations and four panel discussions. The best moments came in many forms:
- GRI reported a sixfold increase in CSR reporting over the last 10 years. About 4,000 companies will report in 2010; 76,000 transnational companies won’t report.
- CRD Analytics presented data on the heavy correlation among corporate brand performance, financial performance and CSR performance.
- BT explained the role of an external leadership panel in its CSR program; members are encouraged to say what’s on their minds.
- Intel said social media enables the company to include “the good, the bad, but not necessarily the ugly” in its CSR communications.
- Several speakers mentioned the trends of adding CSR data to annual reports and adding financial data to CSR reports.
If you’re interested in reviewing the archived presentations, click here for free access. It will be 5½ hours very well spent. And don’t let the price fool you.