Hyun Ju Jeong, assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, researches how advertising and public relations can work to make the world a better place through corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Jeong defines CSR as “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law” in her paper Corporate social responsibility effects on social network sites, Jeong also lists the different types of CSR such as cause-based marketing, corporate philanthropy, community volunteering and socially-responsible business practices.
“My research is based on my ever-growing curiosity about how ISC can benefit individuals and the public community and society at large,” Jeong said. “I'm trying to find some kind of positive impact of CSR on individual practices and nonprofits, like for example if they got a donation from a company.”
A few of Jeong’s recent studies focus on cause-related marketing. Jeong gave the Yoplait yogurt “Think before you pink” campaign in which a portion of yogurt with pink lid sales went to breast cancer research as an example of a cause-related marketing campaign that may be studied.
Jeong said that one of the main ways she studies this topic is through creating experimental studies.
“I prefer having an experimental study because it can give us a direct solution,” Jeong said. “In experimental studies, we can change people’s behavior through strategic approaches or we can change the content of the ISC material, and both can tell us how to make the current ISC practices better and more impactful.”
One of Jeong’s most recent projects focuses on how corporations have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper focuses on looking at how certain corporations have incorporated corporate social responsibility into their marketing by raising money for COVID-related causes. Jeong has submitted this paper to both a journal and a conference for publication.
“CSR is everywhere, but the question of how we can make it better and more effective is not clearly answered,” Jeong said. “For the long term, I want to look at different types of corporate information and how that can be more meaningful and impactful to society as well.”
Jeong said that she hopes that by studying corporate social responsibility, she can make corporations, nonprofits and even the public aware of the good that could come from corporate social marketing and communications.
“I want to see how hopefully these donations are more meaningful for nonprofits, Jeong said. “It could be good for the public because it can make them more aware of the issue. I want to see how these specific types of information coming from corporations can not only be meaningful to nonprofits but also good for our society overall as well.”
In the future, Jeong hopes to expand her research beyond corporate social responsibility in advertising to look at CSR in things such as crisis communication or even beyond the business realm altogether.