When Organizational Advocacy and Public Advocacy Intersect in CSR: Examining Stage of Partnership and Activism in CSR Partnerships


  • Minhee Choi University of South Carolina
  • Holly Overton University of South Carolina
  • Robert McKeever University of South Carolina




CSR partnership, activism, CSR fit, stage of partnership, advocacy


CSR partnerships have evolved and taken various forms as companies and nonprofit organizations work toward creating societal change for the public good. This study examined public relations advocacy in the context of CSR communication through a 2 x 2 online experiment with a sample of 240 participants. Specifically, this study examined interactions between CSR fit, stage of partnership, and individuals’ activism levels on individuals’ attitude toward a company, a nonprofit, and skepticism levels toward the CSR partnership. High fit and philanthropic stage of partnership became significant factors on attitude toward the company. Individuals’ activism levels had a positive interaction with stage of partnership in predicting skepticism toward the partnership. Theoretical implications and practical applications for public interest communications are discussed. 

Author Biographies

Minhee Choi, University of South Carolina

Doctoral Student, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Holly Overton, University of South Carolina

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications


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