You learn something everyday - for me today was the term astro-turfing. Being an ex-hockey player I was intrigued about how astro-turfing could relate to a company and CSR but now I get it thanks to this article
. Basically depending on who you read, it would seem that astro-turfing is an attempt by an activist (or PR company/lobby group) to create a campaign that appears to be a diverse, grass root, independent reaction to an issue.
The challenge for a company if and when they are on the receiving end of a campaign (the example given in the article about Resorts World here in Singapore receiving targeting template letters from those wanting to express a view on the import of whale sharks into Singapore) is to be able to determine whether they are a victim of genuine astroturfing (perhaps one person with a grievance creating an entire website or campaign) or whether they are receiving organised feedback that is in fact representative of a diverse section of society - and whether or not if the difference can be established if they require different responses.
So from a CSR perspective, the issue would be whether or not it would be ethical or not for a company to be behind astro-turfing (for example in relation to a product) or whether or not a company would be a victim of an astro-turfing or a genuine campaign and how to respond to either.....
I said I learnt something new today - not that I necessarily resolved where that learning took my thoughts!