Philanthropy as a broccoli?

Last week I had the opportunity to present some of the findings of media monitoring on philanthropy, on Annual Conference of PR Society of Serbia; the panel was exploring media relation toward CSR and corporate philanthropy. Though findings – some of which some were already shared here – seemed to confirm opinions of corporate PR experts (media are not that interested, they do not provide sufficient information etc.) presence of the “other side” made panel discussion really interesting. Zoran Stanojevic, editor and presenter of Oko Magazin, one of the Serbian Broadcasting Agency (RTS) TV shows with highest ratings shared his opinion:

 ‘Imagine media as a restaurant, where editor is maitre d’ and we, journalists are waiters; public is customer. So, restaurant needs to decide what should be offered –  a steak and potatoes and rich chocolate dessert or maybe a healthy meal such as kale or broccoli? Well, restaurant needs customers and to make money so it will offer the most attractive thing on the menu. Honestly – at least in the region – that would be steak and potatoes. Yes, broccoli is good, broccoli is healthy but… it’s still broccoli!”

November 24, 2011

Story about numbers

In the first post, I’ve mentioned that there is a story behind the huge numbers of reports on philanthropy in the region. As a reminder:

“in app. 2,5 months there were over 1,100 reports on donations, actions and on giving…”

So what is the story about numbers, if we already counted reports?

Well, it turns out that all philanthropy is equal, but some is more equal than other :). That is, some actions/donations have repeated coverage, and number of reports ‘hides’ actual number of actions/donations presented. Chart shows the number of unique actions/donations that were presented in media.

November 17, 2011

So, how media report on philanthropy?

Picking up on Nathan’s very good question about qualitative reporting of media and number of criteria that can be used for benchmarking the media reporting, I thought it might be good to share some of the observations and analysis I’ve done…

Overall, my impression was: lack of information. To show what I mean I’ll share my favorite report that I will quote it in full:

“Changing diabetes” is the name of the humanitarian race on which there were 200 people on Saturday”.

End of story. There is nothing about who organized it, why the race was humanitarian, how the money was raised, how the race will help to change diabetes… I mean, I can understand a lack of space, but really!

Of course, not all reports are like this; and, although – when doing an analysis – I haven’t thought of all Nathan’s criteria (will ask for help next time Nathan :)!), I’ll share what I have. To start with Nathan’s questions:

November 9, 2011

Philanthropy in spotlight… or not?

In the past couple of months I was busy doing media monitoring on philanthropy in several countries of the region. That is, I kept press clipping agencies busy with media monitoring and I was busy trying to make some sense of what I was receiving.

If anyone wonders why did I choose to spend time in this way, I was trying to understand more about standing of the local philanthropy in the region but also lack of success of civil society to receive stable funding from local sources (other than the government that is). So I thought, one of the ways we can get some objective view on philanthropy AND civil society and philanthropy is by following the media. In saying this, I perfectly understand that media often give anything but an objective view on something. However, media do shape public opinion

November 2, 2011