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I have always liked the following question:

Which way do the hands on a clock turn?

The obvious answer is clockwise – to which the philosophical response is – “Not if you are the clock”.

There are two sides to every story and I am regularly finding myself thrown at the moment regarding mentions of CSR in the media.  Being a bit of a tree hugging hippy, my thoughts naturally turn to Corporate Social Responsibility whenever CSR is mentioned.  But that certainly isn’t the case if you work in the public sector where the Comprehensive Spending Review has been the talk of many offices for months.

It really is amazing – two acronyms, both arguably forces for long term good and positive change (note the use of arguably – I am not going to get political here and debate whether their spending review will actually work) – yet both are perceived so badly.

One of the great challenges in communications is moving beyond people’s perceptions and fixed ideas.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility is about more than the environment – at the most basic level it includes social and economic considerations – but people all too often fail to see or consider these additional facets.

  2. The Comprehensive Spending Review is about far more than job cuts but again that is what most people focus on – particularly because it has been the focus of the mainstream media.

Communications professionals should take into consideration people’s beliefs.  At times it is right to strengthen them, at other times we should challenge them but above all we must never take them for granted and assume we can change them.

Communications can only ever ask us to look at the clock from the other side – it cannot force us to change the time.


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