The issue backgrounders selected and published on this page were developed in the second-year financial public relations course (currently PUBR 2845) as part of Mount Royal University’s public relations program. Students select an organization to analyze in terms of issues of importance to investors and connected stakeholders.

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Corus and Diversity by Madi Woodhead (FIRST PLACE)

Hou and Reber (2011) define corporate social responsibility (CSR) as the “voluntary corporate commitment to exceed the explicit and implicit obligations imposed on a company by society’s expectations of conventional corporate behaviour” (para. 3). Diversity is one of the most common CSR practices undertaken by companies and organizations in the media and entertainment industry (Hou & Reber, 2011). Hou and Reber (2011) explain that “creating a diversified workforce, producing diverse content, and cooperating with schools and organizations to support diversity within the media industry” are some tactics used to promote diversity within an organization (para. 14).

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Cineplex’s Current and Future Financial Relevance by Jennifer Wai (SECOND PLACE)

Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the rise of streaming services such as Netflix that provide convenient home-viewing and increased options in comparison to cinemas, the future of theatres can seem uncertain (Friend, 2021). Although the older generations may be more loyal to cinema companies such as Cineplex, what about the younger generation? An organization is reliant on a continuous stream of consumers for its success, but do theatres need to worry about the lack of an online presence in the future? The world may be slowly adapting to the pandemic and releasing some of the current restrictions, but a large percentage of Generation Z might not revisit the cinemas even after COVID-19 (Shevenock, 2021).

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Canadian Tire’s Response to the Changing Retail Environment by Campton Hancock (THIRD PLACE)

The Canadian Tire Corporation Limited was one of many Canadian retailers that had to take immediate action when the repercussions of a global emergency began to seep into the environment in which they operated. On April 2, 2020, the Canadian Tire Corporation (2020) published a media release that communicated their action plan, highlighting intentions to reduce operating costs, pause the repurchasing of shares and capitalize on relationships with Canadian banks to ensure sources of liquidity. The release emphasized Canadian Tire’s health and safety plan and pledged a commitment to protecting employees and customers (Canadian Tire Corporation, 2020). A year later, in their 2020 Report to Shareholders, the Canadian Tire Corporation (2021a) announced it experienced an eleven per cent sales increase in 2020. This statistic emphasizes the importance of timely communication and adaptability in times of crisis that alter the retail environment.

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