HSBC : Missing an important date
A major social sponsorship goes unremarked on the website.
HSBC, a major international banking group, includes an area in its global website where it features its major sponsorship initiatives. These include three golf tournaments, a UK-Mexico cultural exchange and a round-the-world sailing event but no mention of its involvement as a ‘global sponsor’ of International Women’s Day, which this year falls tomorrow, 8 March. Typing ‘international women’s day’ into the site search engine returns no matches.
There is similarly no mention on the Corporate Social Responsibility section home page and no link from the site to internationalwomensday.com, an events website of which HSBC is the sole ‘global sponsor’ and where it has its own section with promotional articles about its women-centred activities and policies. This site does feature on the first page of Google results for ‘international women’s day’.
HSBC’s global site is the obvious place to spread the word about its support as an organisation for International Women’s Day, and its prominent involvement in the day’s events website is a clear sign of commitment to the sponsorship. So, why does the connection go unremarked on the HSBC site?
One reason may be the irregular updating which plagues sponsorship pages on company websites. Many are revised no more frequently than they would (and could) be in an annual report, ignoring both the capability the web gives for more frequent refreshment and the expectation of visitors that information is up to date. If this is the case, the bank is allowing a lack of coordination to reduce the impact/value of its sponsorship.
The other possibility is that HSBC is sensitive to the criticism by organisations such as Corporate Watch that its involvement in International Women’s Day is a piece of cynical PR out of keeping with the spirit of the event. In which case a decision to keep the global site at arm’s length from the sponsorship would be a short-term expedient.http://www.hsbc.com
First published on 07 March, 2006