As the saying goes, “it IS better to give than to receive.” When done sincerely and consistently, the plentiful rewards far surpass that wonderful, warm-and-fuzzy joy you feel from acting philanthropic only every now and then.
Gone are the days when writing a single check comprised an entire corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Today, CSR can assume any and every number of forms—donating to or joining forces with a nonprofit, volunteering time to a local charity, implementing comprehensive environmental practices and so much more. Whatever your cause or causes, modern corporate social responsibility means stalwart support that talks the talk and walks the walk.
Successful CSR programs offer an extraordinary opportunity to enrich your brand first, while doing good and pleasing your internal and external audiences. Invest a wholehearted approach, but remember it’s vital to strike the right balance with your CSR marketing. Apply these guidelines, and your corporate social responsibility program can be an enduring achievement EVERYONE is proud to talk about.
Nope, we don’t mean “green.” Well, not necessarily. Here we’re talking about choosing causes that are a natural fit for your brand. Define which issues complement your brand and are important to the people connected with it—your customers, employees and stakeholders. Meaningful causes impart authenticity, galvanize support and build symbiotic relationships.
Plan it out.
Like any mission on which your organization embarks, your CSR marketing strategy should be tactical and orderly. Identify your audiences, your CSR communications message and the platforms from which you’ll spread the word. Explore partnership possibilities. Prioritize and schedule future efforts. Allow your strategy to evolve.
Lobby your labor.
Involve all of your employees, and encourage them to collaborate and contribute to the cause. There are few methods that engender the same enthusiasm as rallying together to back a great cause. What organization wouldn’t benefit deeply from that kind of team spirit?
Keep track of your company’s commitments, and gather every pertinent fact and figure. Measure and report your findings. Whether they’re regarding your energy savings, recycling program or community outreach, your CSR communications are most effective (and credible) when you can document your efforts and any results they generate.
Let’s be real.
Empty gestures and hidden agendas leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. Honesty is your best policy, and a truly dedicated, heartfelt approach to your efforts will shine through. Prove CSR is more than a hollow buzzword thrown around the boardroom—and whatever you do, please don’t stretch, bend or otherwise twist the truth.
Toot your own horn.
Really, it’s okay to promote your CSR accomplishments. When performed elegantly, your CSR marketing campaign should probably cross over every platform, like your creative, website and social media, to tell the world about the positive things you’re doing.
At Dana, we’d be delighted to help you do just that. Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com.