CSR communication in Romania is a relatively young sector  - but a promising one. Despite a national culture opposed to the idea of community, we Romanians nevertheless make efforts to understand and to reshape our society.

I've undertaken researchbased on the analysis posts on 100 corporate Facebook pages, conducted between September 1st and October 1st 2015. More than 50% of the posts (61.7%) refer to the company’s products or services, followed by posts that refer to other subjects (20.2%). Only a few  (8.6%) refer to CSR campaigns.

1. Romanian companies prefer visibility against trust

Romanian companies use their Facebook pages primarily for marketing purposes,  and not so much for winning stakeholder confidence.

2. A self-centered communication strategy

Romanian companies use what I describe as a self-centered strategy to communicate their CSR actions on Facebook, since the author of most of the analysed posts (90.2%) was the company itself. A mediated or dialogical strategy is scarcely represented, with 7.8%  of the posts belong to endorsers/experts and 2% to the stakeholders of the  Facebook page.

3. The relationship between companies and their stakeholders is a weak one

Only 11.4% of the posts referred to the companies’ CSR activity. But even with a limited number of posts, there was still an average of 41 likes per post: this can be seen as an acute hunger for CSR information from the stakeholders’ point of view and as an encouragement to establish a stronger relationship with their favourite companies. The weakness of the relationship, from the companies’ point of view, is also demonstrated by the small number of Facebook pages dedicated entirely to CSR activities (0.26%) and by the paucity of posts that contain tags, hashtags, or links to companies' CSR projects.

4. Stakeholders are barely involved in the co-creation of the online content

One very important indicator of power in corporate communication on social media is the co-creation of information, which I have measured mainly through user posts on the company’s Facebook page and tags by the company related to its CSR  activity. Only 2% of the total amount of posts related to CSR are posted on the company’s Facebook page by its stakeholders. Concerning the tags related to the CSR activity of the company, only 15.7% of the posts related to CSR embody such a tag.

5. Stakeholders want to establish a trustworthy relationship with the companies they buy from

Most stakeholders do not try to interact with the companies through comments, but rather choose to express their opinion pertinently, on the subject of the post. There is a big pressure from the stakeholders’ point of view. In this context, companies would rather respond to stakeholder questions or inquiries than being proactive and anticipate their needs or complaints.

6. The more self-centered the corporate communications, the stronger the resistance of the  stakeholders

The more companies communicate their CSR actions in a self-centered way, the more stakeholders try to interact and ask questions. This means that the shift to a dialogical strategy of communication could strike the balance in the process of  CSR communication on Facebook.

7.    The stronger the  communication power of the company, the stronger the resistance of the  stakeholders against power becomes

The more companies communicate their CSR actions in a self-centered way, the more stakeholders try to interact and ask questions. This means that the shift to a dialogical strategy of communication could strike the balance in the process of  CSR communication on Facebook.

EACD member Diana Șerban is the communications and marketing director of Cosmovici Intellectual Property in Switzerland, managing their external communication especially for France, Germany, England and Romania. She specialises in issues relating to corporate social responsibility and integrated communication strategy for Western Europe. For more insights from Diana, see her LinkedIn page.

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