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A Comprehensive CSR Program Guide

Date Created: 15/05/2020
Many business executives view CSR as just a part of their company’s responsibility. They see it as a must-do aspect of business rather than an opportunity. Having such an approach means recycling plastic, funding poor people, or treating their workforce well at times would be enough to put a tick on their checklist. The truth, though, is that there is always room to take things a step further and gain something as well. Many big corporations don’t care about feeding poor children or protecting forests in an exotic faraway land, but, at the end of the day, when such practices are put in hand, customers may associate those corporations’ names with empathy.
In the last few decades, combining CSR with marketing is becoming more and more common, and usually, the results can be fruitful enough in terms of putting individuals or whole brands in the spotlight for a positive reason. Moreover, the best part about all this is the fact that doing something good for the planet, society or the economy’s wholistic prosperity comes to a win-win situation.
Regardless of having deep emotions in general or feeling responsible for whatever CSR is supposed to stand for; real help is a real help. No one can take anything away from Coca Cola or Dove when they’re good enough. Even if sometimes it’s true, no one can accuse their people of doing things for advertising purposes rather than for their spontaneous will for offering help.
So, with all that in mind, in case you run a small or even midsize company, there are some aspects to consider if you care about constructing a complete, comprehensive CSR program.
These tips below may help you put your company on the right path. And the word “right” here can have various meanings.
1. Let your area of expertise guide you
There are many different options when it comes to understanding what type of CSR efforts will have a large impact. Usually, though, doing something specific and putting focus at it should come first, otherwise, all those efforts may not work to the fullest.
As a basal step in this process, it all comes down to finding your company’s strengths, if those are not already known. Apart from the fact that the results may simply be better, it’s also good to show to a specific target group that there is an extra area of expertise around your company’s core identity. Such an approach can take a brand from being one of the top names in their area to becoming the number one name. This is usually associated with what marketing and advertising people call “top-of-mind awareness”.
2. Find out what matters most
This may not make enough sense to everyone, but according to a Cone Communications CSR Study, 87% of consumers would more likely buy a product from a company that supports social or environmental matters that they care about. Just as consumers appreciate being treated well by staff when they go to a shop to buy something, they also appreciate it when a company puts effort into taking responsibility for something that is also a part of themselves in some way. Because, believe it or not, people that care about the environment, may feel offended when they hear how a brand’s activities harm it.
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In addition to that, just by looking at big brands’ social media official pages, one can get an idea of what consumers’ reactions are when there is evidence for a scandal that involves a specific brand.
3. Make employees proud through CSR
We should not shy away from the fact that every single company consists of people. If hiring young people who are hungry to prove themselves or to create something unique is one of your company’s highest goals, then making a good impression as a brand counts too. Good work comes as a result of coordination between competent individuals.
Aside from the fact that there is a specific image towards consumers, there is also the employer side. Recruiting plays a crucial role in success. People that care deeply about CSR, would more likely be fulfilled by doing a job that allows them to make a strong positive impact on it.
4. Measure the ROI of your practices
Something beneficial about ROI for CSR is that it helps combine CSR with other aspects of a company. Through measuring success, different departments are called upon to coexist better and communicate more effectively, and this gives great ideas from a financial standpoint as well. What you need to do is to make sure that you’ve found out which of those conscious efforts are directly tied to the company’s bottom line. As a result, activities that drive cost savings, new customer acquisition, and brand awareness are most preferable.
5. Think out of the box
It’s always better to be viewed as a corporation that cares deeply by doing the usual good stuff, as opposed to being viewed as a lazy one or, even worse, as one that harms to succeed. But these last few years, innovation is something that is taken more seriously than the norm. Through innovation, sponsorships and collaborations are more likely to take place, and brand loyalty feels more inspiring to everyday consumers.
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Of course, unique ideas can’t come every single day, so, what you can do about that is pick some of those practices that have already been done by yours or by other companies and take them a step further by adding something extra, or by simply conducting them through a unique approach. Sometimes, that feels innovative too even if it is not.
Combining these 5 tips will help you understand what it takes to build a unique, comprehensive CSR program. In OneTeam, one of our top priorities is about helping smaller companies understand the true meaning of doing something good for society, people, and planet earth.


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