It’s often frowned upon in the business world when brand get something out of their CSR activity. We’ve said it before that a business’ corporate social responsibility should be about the cause they are supporting. This could come from their responsibility to their employees and what they care about or a responsibility to the community in which they work.
There is no reason why business owners and marketing departments can’t tell the press, shareholders and newsletter subscribers about these activities in order to make the business look good. Any promotion will help raise awareness for that cause. It will put the business in a good light and that’s great for your brand. However, you have to focus on the cause. If bragging about the great things you are doing does nothing other than make the business look good then you’re doing things for the wrong reason.
If you want to work directly with a charity then you might agree a sponsorship deal. Money, services and promotion in exchange for the charity mentioning you and helping out where they can. There is nothing wrong with requesting this from a charity when you go into a partnership. These two-way relationships are much more likely to last than a give-receive agreement.
Don’t worry about promoting this new partnership either. If you want to give exposure to the charity then first thing you should do is write a press release announcing the partnership and what it means for both parties.
Listen to your employees
It is your social responsibility to listen to what your employees want. If there’s a particular cause they want to support or perhaps they just want to start volunteering on a regular basis. It’s your job to accommodate this.
In terms of promotion you can promote any activity to your shareholders as this might be something they’d like to get involved in. Similarly you can promote your chosen charity and any events your employees might be helping with.
Listen to the community
If your business is a figure-head in your community then you should contribute accordingly. This might be working with any local groups or charities in the area or it might be about taking your employees out to help tidy up the local flower beds.
If you have some sway in the community then you should put on events that draw new people into the area. Partner with local shops, create campaigns to get people to buy local. This gives you the opportunity to help grow the local economy while promoting your business and those around you.
CSR isn’t necessarily about promoting and working with charities. It can be about doing some good for your local area.
Remember: Promote your cause but don’t be afraid of getting some good PR out of it for your brand. Promotion through CSR is tricky but you can do great things for your cause with good promotion.
Image – Fashion event in Norwich for NFW