Why It’s Okay to Brag about Corporate Social Responsibility
Brad Rye, Senior Vice President/Managing Director, Mower
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by a business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and its families as well as the local community and society at large, according to The Word Business Council for Sustainable Development.
CSR is considered a must-do obligation by current and potential employees, customers, and all other stakeholders. In fact, 66% of consumers said they are likely to change brands based on a company’s sustainability and social responsibility, and 67% are willing to pay more for products from companies that are committed to having a positive social and environmental impact.
For employees, 70% of Millennials say a company’s commitment to social and environmental issues influences their decision to work there, and 65% of MBAs want to work for a company that makes them feel like they will make an environmental or social impact.
But if a tree falls in the woods and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? Some companies may not be communicating about their CSR efforts simply because they haven’t created a narrative to tell their story in an authentic way, while others think that touting their efforts goes against their humble image. However, when a brand doesn’t communicate about its CSR initiatives it misses out on the benefits it will receive from stakeholders who value what the company is doing.
Think of CSR as a contract, an agreement between a company and its constituents. Companies are not only responsible for giving back, but must also report on their efforts and results, transparently and frequently.
Here are four keys for effectively communicating CSR efforts:
- Authenticity—Create clear, thoughtful messages that convey why you’re giving back to help you connect with constituents.
- Consistent and Ongoing Outreach—Continually notify your constituents about your efforts and maintain an open dialogue.
- Multichannel Communications—Use all media and formats to reach your constituents.
- Communicate Results—If what you do can be measured, share it and continually report your progress.
Interested in hearing more about how businesses can effectively communicate about their CSR programs and why they are important? Watch our webinar on Corporate Social Responsibility: Building Trust through Listening, Commitment and Transparency, hosted by Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Brad Rye and Director Senior Strategist, Public Relations, Chuck Beeler.