In order to properly execute a successful corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, a corporation has to do more than simply make a few charitable donations—the company has to integrate CSR into its business model, and they have to ensure that their CSR efforts are properly publicized through the right channels, according to bizjournals.com. Here are a few things companies should keep in mind when they’re working on establishing their CSR programs.
CSR Needs to be Integrated into the Corporate Strategy
In short, bizjournals.com noted that CSR isn’t something that a corporation or company should perform half-heartedly or on occasion. It needs to be something that companies commit to completely. In order to ensure that resources are allocated correctly, and that a company aligns itself with a charitable cause that fits its mission statement, a company should work hard to incorporate CSR into every aspect of its annual business strategy. This basically entails hiring dedicated CSR professionals, establishing noteworthy CSR goals, and measuring efforts on a consistent basis. When a company takes CSR seriously, the firm develops a reputation for giving back, which helps to contribute to the second key point.
Businesses are, of course, ultimately motivated by profit. So when companies start exploring CSR, customers can sometimes be wary. They might wonder, do these companies truly care about giving back, or are they dabbling in CSR to start pulling in more sustainably minded customers? In order to avoid any potential pitfalls, a company has to communicate to the public that its CSR intentions are entirely authentic and genuine. One of the best ways to do this, in fact, is to some times place CSR above commercialism. For example, on Black Friday last year, REI closed down and encouraged its employees and customers to take the day to explore the outdoors. The company’s #OptOutside campaign was a clever idea: though it cost the company potential Black Friday shopping income, it also showcased to its fan base that it cares tremendously about the outdoors and giving back, and that the company’s core appreciation for nature matters more than holiday profits.
- Publicize CSR Accomplishments
In order to cement a company’s CSR reputation a company has to publicize its accomplishments on a regular basis. Learning how to tell a coherent CSR story takes time, but ultimately, a good CSR story will resonate with customers and employees. Companies can use social media or traditional media outlets to build up their CSR reputations—if they perform this task successfully, customers and employees will begin to associate these companies with honest, and entirely genuine charitable causes. Once a company is associated with a cause, CSR-prone customers will begin to develop a sense of loyalty for that company. Brand loyalty, at the end of the day, is extremely beneficial for a company’s bottom line.
Source: Good 360