PR Advanced should be regarded, by far, as one of the most invaluable experiences that a public relations major can take part in. This past weekend, budding practitioners had the opportunity to listen to speakers from many big names in the business as well as network with individuals from some of the most prestigious firms. Cone Communications sent their very own Simon Bowers to deliver a breakout session on corporate social responsibility titled Does Doing Good Business Matter? It most certainly does! According to Simon, and Cone—who just so happen to be leaders in CSR—, it’s not called a responsibility for nothing.
While some may still argue that CSR takes away from the economic role of business, companies now have a duty to their clients and to their publics. Simon, who graduated from Washington State University before spending time volunteering in Latin America, understands fully the value of this principle and could not have been better matched to head this workshop—or to Cone, for that matter! Cone has been awarded quite a few distinctions over the years, the least of which is their recent awarding of PR News’ Midsize PR Firm of the Year. Regardless of the level of interest in CSR, everyone in the breakout session on Saturday should have taken away at least enough valuable information to be able to apply to future practices, in whichever sector they may end up. After all, it’s not a fluke that Cone places such high premium on this principle. Corporate social responsibility is becoming, if it has not already become, a necessary component of smooth practice by any firm or agency. Hopefully, with more witty presentations like Simon’s from this past weekend, more and more companies will place greater emphasis on CSR, thus ushering in a new generation of practitioners as well as a better era for PR as a whole.