As time goes by businesses are increasingly under social pressure to embrace the responsibility to be great corporate role models for their communities.
5 min read
From going green and supporting charities to championing equality in business. In 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer on the rise - it is here and will be a staple ingredient in every organisations business mix.
Social media has made everyone on the planet a potential journalist, meaning they can communicate instantly with prospective clients and customers with a click. This can be a hugely powerful tool to promote your business utilising your work within your community.
The cold hard figures are in, Social Responsibility is good for your business but it is more than just ticking boxes it is about embracing a strategy that your entire company can be immersed in.
In this blog we have described and listed our top thirteen reasons your company should embrace CSR.
Increase media coverage
Unique Selling Point
Forge new corporate partnerships
Boost employee engagement
Positive workplace environment
Below we have briefly described each of the reasons we believe CSR will improve your business.
This point will come as no surprise: being ethical and doing good in the community will improve your public image and therefore your brand. For most organisations this won’t be the key motivator, but it is an organic by-product of having a strong and public CSR strategy.
There is no shame in promoting all the good you do also. Another of the knock-on effects is you will encourage other businesses and individuals to follow suit, even if it is just to keep pace with you.
2. Increase media coverage
Your CSR activities will help your press department increase their amount of newsworthy content to send out to the relevant media bodies. Stories that impact wider than your industry will help improve the reach of your brand and services.
A sub set of the above media coverage is social media. Everybody loves a feel-good message, or a story juxtaposed to the ordinary. CSR driven stories have a great chance of cut through and this is key to stand out from the billions of updates posted each day. CSR stories are often ‘sticky’ and are more likely to be engaged with and reposted.
A strong CSR approach can also be used as a Unique Selling Point (USP) to help companies stand out from the rest. The British cosmetics company, Lush have held a strong ethical position against animal testing in the cosmetics industry and this has helped them separate themselves in an industry built on animal testing.
5. Cost savings
Alongside making profit you can also save money by implementing a CSR strategy. Good for the environment doesn’t mean you should spend money purchasing expensive recycled paper. For many companies executing a green policy of saving water, paper and electricity can show real cost savings on utilities and stationary over the course of the year.
6. Attract customers
The cut through and media reach of your CSR activities will land your organisations efforts in front of many new potential clients/customers. Some of these prospects will be encouraged to do business with you directly due to alignment with their own CSR policies and some may like the reflected glory of your activities so will feel encouraged to team up with you to explore your experiences and enjoy the association with a positive campaign.
7. Retain customers
In marketing they suggest the cost of gaining a single customer is 6 times more expensive than retaining them, so a strong strategic CSR campaign may be a great way to help you hold onto clients you are currently already working with. Consideration here could be made to tactically align your own activities with current clients so each of you can leverage and amplify your actions.
8. Forge new corporate partnerships
CSR driven events (conferences, charity competitions and celebrations etc) are great places to meet likeminded professionals and organisations with similar objectives. Identifying prospective partnerships where you can utilise each other’s services as well CSR activities can often lead to sustainable and profitable partnerships.
9. Engage customers
CSR driven businesses can often resonate with customer bases. Having the ability to offer your customers the option of playing a part in a CSR activity can often make them feel like they are a part of your brand. Ways they can engage can be by donating money, taking part in an actual activity, inviting them to make comment and sharing ideas on a campaign to name a few ideas.
10. Boost employee engagement
When an employer embraces and drives a socially responsible culture we find that employee buy-in is more likely to follow. You’ll find staff more willing to go the Xtra Mile and work cooperatively with one another when working jointly on a project involving CSR activities. The bonds created during those times continue into their work roles often giving teams a memorable positive point of reference to keep them motivated.
It also has the effect of enhancing identification of the employee with the brand, making them feel like they are a part of the fabric of the company.
When activating a CSR campaign, businesses will look internally for volunteers before asking for support elsewhere. There is a great benefit for doing this as business can achieve two objectives: increase their employee engagement and increase the number of volunteers involved in the activity which saves money.
12. Positive workplace environment
Teams that work together for a common cause will inevitably find it a positive experience. This is amplified when the common cause is a CSR activity or event. People feel good when they do good things and thus are generally more productive, it’s in our human nature.
A CSR challenge that a company organises or signs up to can be the perfect opportunity for employees to step out of their comfort zone and try something new or daring. This can be a perfect opportunity for both personal and professional growth as it builds confidence and can also grow the employee’s professional reputation as they become known as a ‘team player’ willing to go the Xtra Mile.