Title

Communication Strategies for Enhancing the Perceived Fit in the CSR Sponsorship Context

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly common business practice globally and across industries. By contributing to societal welfare, firms can also enhance their corporate image among its stakeholders – in particular, its customers. For CSR to generate goodwill, consumers generally need to perceive a fit between the sponsoring firm and its CSR. Otherwise, consumers may second-guess the firm's intrinsic CSR motives, which may even evoke a negative reaction. In practice, however, many firms today engage in CSR activities that cover a wide spectrum of perceived fit. To this end, this research explores communication strategies (elaborational vs relational) that help elevate the perceived fit between the sponsoring firm and its CSR activity at high vs low levels. Specifically, we find elaborational communication strategy (which focuses on the merits of CSR activity per se and not on the association with the firm) to be more effective for the low-fit case, whereas relational communication strategy (which highlights the association between the company and CSR) was more effective for the high-fit case.

Keywords

Communication Strategies, Communication Strategies, Corporate Image, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sponsorship

Discipline

Business and Corporate Communications

Research Areas

Marketing

Publication

International Journal of Advertising

Volume

31

Issue

1

First Page

133

Last Page

146

ISSN

0265-0487