Now that we are all celebrating the cheerful holiday season, you will find corporations promoting their CSR activities left, right and center, in an attempt to prove to the community and the world what a thoughtful and considerate businesses they are.
In this part of the world, there are three main seasons in which corporations become quite active and notably socially responsible: Ramadan, Christmas, and winter season. During those three main events, you will see many monetary and nonmonetary donations made, lunch and dinner and Iftar feasts, jackets and blankets collection campaigns, etc. Which is quite limited as there are so many and vast options and causes that organizations can support.
There is no doubt that CSR is definitely a vital and essential part of any company’s strategy, and many clients and stockholders would only make business with companies that are active on the CSR front. However, promoting a company’s CSR activities has always been a tricky and sensitive subject.
The idea is to recognize when a company has to be subtle, and when to be blatant. Companies should also make sure that their PR activities to promote their CSR initiatives are sincere and not just showing off. There is nothing more provoking to stakeholders than companies riding the CSR wave by shoving news and photos down their throats across all traditional and social media platforms. You will also notice that some of the charities that companies support refuse their members’ pictures to be taken to respect their privacy and humanity.
- When promoting your CSR activities, mention the contact information of the charities and foundations that you have working with, in order for other companies and individuals to easily reach them. Explain what they do and how supporting them does generate positive results for all parties involved.
- Also, a strategy should be put in place on an annual basis where a detailed, thorough and thought-out plan is devised; the success of CSR lies in planning, and not just throwing money around arbitrarily. Each company should select a charity, foundation or a cause that is close to its industry and relevant to what they do and stand for; this would give the company more leverage and shows that it understands true CSR and CSR strategies.
- Involving employees across all levels in an organization is an effective PR tool; when employees understand and believe in what the company is doing, they become your ambassadors in promoting your CSR activities, which is more honest and sincere than any story you push to publish.
- Annual reporting of a corporation’s CSR activities is an important tool that many organizations don’t take seriously. There are many CSR reporting models that can be followed such as the ones done by Sony, and you can take a look at the GRI Standards for Sustainability Reporting.