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CSR communication, corporate reputation, and the role of the news media as an agenda setter in the digital age


Vogler, Daniel; Eisenegger, Mark (2021). CSR communication, corporate reputation, and the role of the news media as an agenda setter in the digital age. Business & Society, 60(8):1957-1986.

Abstract

By using social media, corporations can communicate about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the public without having to pass through the gatekeeping function of the news media. However, to what extent can corporations influence the public’s evaluation of their CSR activities with social media activities and if the legacy news media still act as the primary agenda setters when it comes to corporate reputation have not yet been thoroughly analyzed in a digitized media environment. This study addressed this research gap by looking at the effect of CSR communication through Facebook and news media coverage of CSR on corporate reputation in Switzerland. The results of this longitudinal study show that the salience and tone of news media coverage of CSR were positively related to corporate reputation, even though the news media coverage about CSR was predominantly negative. Thus, reputation was still strengthened even in the face of negative publicity. No effect of CSR communication through Facebook on corporate reputation was found. The results suggest that legacy news media still were influential in determining how the public evaluates corporations in the digital age.

Abstract

By using social media, corporations can communicate about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the public without having to pass through the gatekeeping function of the news media. However, to what extent can corporations influence the public’s evaluation of their CSR activities with social media activities and if the legacy news media still act as the primary agenda setters when it comes to corporate reputation have not yet been thoroughly analyzed in a digitized media environment. This study addressed this research gap by looking at the effect of CSR communication through Facebook and news media coverage of CSR on corporate reputation in Switzerland. The results of this longitudinal study show that the salience and tone of news media coverage of CSR were positively related to corporate reputation, even though the news media coverage about CSR was predominantly negative. Thus, reputation was still strengthened even in the face of negative publicity. No effect of CSR communication through Facebook on corporate reputation was found. The results suggest that legacy news media still were influential in determining how the public evaluates corporations in the digital age.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute for Research on the Public Sphere and Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Uncontrolled Keywords:agenda setting, corporate reputation, CS communication, Facebook, news media, social media
Language:English
Date:1 November 2021
Deposited On:29 Jan 2021 14:00
Last Modified:24 Jun 2024 01:43
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0007-6503
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650320928969
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English