How and why PR pros should take the lead on CSR

Corporate social responsibility has long been a bonus for businesses, but as millennials’ clout surges—as consumers and employees—that luxury is now a necessity. Here’s what to know.

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So are millennials, who are emerging as the largest segment of the modern workforce, as well as a formidable consumer bloc.

Corporate communicators can lead the way in advocating and promoting their organization’s contribution to society.

Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment company BlackRock, says corporations must contribute to society if they want BlackRock’s support. It manages more than $6 trillion in investments and has significant influence over corporate board selections.

In other words, Fink has the clout to enforce his view.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote in a draft of a letter shared with The New York Times. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

The Times calls the statement a watershed moment in the trend toward greater corporate social responsibility. Fink’s argument may also cause controversy, as many executives believe that a company’s main goal is to earn profits.

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