Hunter, Mark Lee, Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Maria Besiou and Mignon van Halderen

The Agenda-setting Power of Stakeholder Media

California Management Review, 56 (1): 49-24, (2013).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1832522

Abstract: This article considers how “stakeholder media” – media produced and controlled by stakeholders with the purpose of affecting public opinion or opinions of other actors toward issues or organisations – can exert powerful influences on firms by setting the public agenda and framing a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in ways desirable for those stakeholders. We observe that research on agenda-setting, which is very largely based on studies of the traditional news media, generally ignores the increasingly powerful reach and impact of media controlled by stakeholders. Hence, based on a case study of BP’s CSR campaign “Beyond Petroleum”, we propose a new model that addresses agenda setting by stakeholder media. The model captures distinct agenda setting as well as framing techniques used by stakeholder media to put pressure on BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding campaign. We thus aim to advance extant agenda setting concepts, by demonstrating how stakeholder media ultimately exert different and in some ways stronger influence on firms than traditional news media.

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