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July 22, 2014 Transcript of #CommsChat on corporate engagement

This Monday on #CommsChat we spoke about corporate social responsibility and the various ways that businesses can engage with their communities and be more sustainable. We were joined by @NafisaNathani@In_the_Works_PR  and @Comms_Events, who are soon to be hosting the Corporate Engagement Awards.

  •  CSR is no longer considered “going the extra mile.” Customers expect big brands to engage in philanthropic initatives
  •  From a charity view: definitely felt brands want more meaningful csr partnerships more recently
  •  today brands want a CSR partnership that compliments and supports their agenda. Great if your cause is ‘fashionable’
  •  Employees can frame corporate engagement program. Give human face to brand and bring life commitments in real, authentic way
  •  unless it is integrated with the brand then CSR programme is not maximised internally.

To view the rest of the conversation see below:

 

  1. Great discussion just now on corporate engagement and CSR . Insightful commentary and our very own

  2. Thanks for hosting a great discussion! We’ll be back next week.

  3. Big thanks to and (forgot that hashtag!) Hope to see you all next Monday same time, same space 🙂

  4. Great everyone! For more CSR/partnership news, do visit our blog and take a look at our awards programme

  5. unless it is integrated with the brand then CSR programme is not maximised internally.

  6. Sponsorship can be integrated with brand but it needs to say/deliver > than its brand awareness. Should have CR aspect

  7. not just about reach.Have to assign metrics of success for each partner&make it work so both achieve objectives

  8. Thanks for joining us tonight everyone who took part, I think we can all agree that CSR is a great aspect of business!

  9. yes because they have resources – people and financial – in many cases to deliver a CSR programme.

  10. agree with a partnership should be honest and share common objectives and values

  11. that’s true but CSR is just not charity for that sake. Relationship has to be mutually beneficial or will not work

  12. Corporate partnerships with smaller brands/nonprofits should be mutually beneficial relationship that increase reach of both orgs

  13. Are corporate sponsors expected to deliver more? Maybe be more integrated with the brand?

  14. World is transparent partnerships needs to be true, authentic and honest otherwise meaningless. This is not spin – real change

  15. . Agree with , a partnership needs to be more than just brand awareness

  16. OK, wrong term. problems arise when important issues lose out on finite cash b’cos they dont engage corporates

  17. Yes corporate sponsorship not just a blank cheque. More than just brand awareness, value built social purpose&common objectives

  18. if internal comms was poor then I suspect that CSR would be very low on their list of priorities.

  19. Final Topic, T5: Has relationship between corporate sponsors and thr partners changed recently? About more than brand awareness?

  20. Example great foundation and – powerful campaign aimed at societal good

  21. Great if a donors aims tie in with charitable objectives but if not can distract and divert resources

  22. sorry, I meant if internal comms was poor & company had poor engagement. what would you suggest?

  23. in my experience school’s drive the involvement of ‘donors’ – you fit around them.

  24. for me fashionability means brand doing something bec makes them look good.This does not work anymore&meaningless

  25. People want to help but sometimes you hve 2 make it easy 4 them, CSR is great for this

  26. And is it a positive impact? Overly involved donors can be a blessing and a curse!

  27. Could this backfire if employees weren’t already engaged in the company & were demanding?

  28. that does not necessarily reflect the wider need or the reduction in need in another area. _2/2)

  29. agree, fun volunteer project cld b great fun as well as a reason for individuals to get involved in charity themselves

  30. engage staff, give options and ask them what they want to do and go.

  31. That’s fair, but there is a correlation between wider social trends and charity spend (1/2)

  32. and if employees believe it, so will others. Engaging employees is key

  33. agree & is a good way for internal comms to engage them and take them on CSR journey from the beginning

  34. A corporate engagement programme will fail and be utterly meaningless employees are not behind it. Employee face behind brand

  35. it can’t be used as a way for companies to show off how “great they are,” it needs to be more than brand awareness

  36. Employees can bring their own passions, personal touch to CSR campaigns. Volunteering time is a great break from office life.

  37. employees need a real say in what the activity is, rater than it being seen as the pet project of someone senior

  38. employees see the benefit of putting something back into their local community to charity they can relate to

  39. Employees can frame corporate engagement program. Give human face to brand and bring life commitments in real, authentic way

  40. T4: How can employees be engaged in corporate engagement?

  41. think fashionable wrong word. Causes where there is a real societal need – public sector can’t fund

  42. enables businesses express values non commercial way. Visible demonstration commitment

  43. indicating that it’s not just done bcoz it’s “fashionable” or a PR stunt & has a valued meaning

  44. working with schools and young people. This has a big impact long and short term in the community

  45. for business, it’s issues like entrepreneurship and skills.a consequence of a long recession and high unemployment

  46. Exactly, showing stakeholders the benefits of the partnerships & successful projects….

  47. yes for long term partnership relationship needs be authentic&meaningful grounded in shared beliefs and principles

  48. a great idea for csr that is also a long term investment and integrated with the brand

  49. they vary as much as the businesses that set them up. An under resourced foundation can really limit charitable aims

  50. working with young people, making links with local schools will potentially help them recruit employees.

  51. If companies have a separate foundation for their CSR it can be beneficial to reach their LT CSR goals & objectives

  52. which causes do you think are fashionable at the moment?

  53. Foundations help empower brands to contribute economic, social, environmental development with single minded focus&purpose

  54. today brands want a CSR partnership that compliments and supports their agenda. Great if your cause is ‘fashionable’

  55. T3: Are foundations useful to business? In what ways do they succeed? What marks a failed foundation?

  56. Are there any tips you would suggest for improving sustainability for SMEs?

  57. lots of changes to ways of working which take time to dev at first but pay off in the long run

  58. Very true RT : Customers don’t just LIKE companies to have a conscience they now expect it

  59. volunteering is manpower and major expense and resource for SMEs. Need to think smaller.

  60. Customers don’t just LIKE companies to have a conscience they now expect it

  61. exactly every business can make a contribution particularly when it comes to their community

  62. police have just got a code of ethics – could be important for all companies

  63. Sustainability is just one of many important pieces to the CSR puzzle. Customers like companies with a conscience.

  64. not just employees.Gives investors confidence sound management practices in place

  65. the and Scwopping campaign is a great example encouraging public to recycle

  66. Unilever Sunshine project great case study-demonstration consumers personal&emotional motivation live more sustainable lifestyles

  67. That’s good to hear, how does that affect you as a charity?

  68. very sweeping statement to say ‘all companies’, what about sole traders with zero profit?

  69. What are some good examples of corporate sustainability?

  70. Sustainability core to business identity and survival. To be relevant your audience, brands need have wider purpose beyond profit

  71. is it not better they engage in CSR for bottom line value than not engage in CSR?

  72. From a charity view: definitely felt brands want more meaningful csr partnerships more recently

  73. Assigning real quantifiable metrics to benefits&business value. So it makes real commercial sense

  74. T2: What role does sustainability have to play in business? Should it be a value all companies uphold?

  75. agree. Too many big brands still cannot support their CSR claims in their marcomms with evidence.

  76. Agree to be relevant to your audience need do more than sell products&services. Having a wider societal purpose

  77. but how do you persuade a business of the value of CSR if they look at it as an add-on?

  78. agree but CSR should never be a glossy coat. Everyone can see through this. Brands need held accountable sound conduct

  79. CSR is a way to enhance business grow. Successful CSR campaigns are expected of most companies now

  80. I agree. In financial climate CSR has to add value to an organisation’s bottom line.

  81. CSR is a great way to get employees/stakeholders involved in company efforts, making them feel more connected to brand.

  82. Definitely agree RT : Yes. Responsible business is how companies are expected to do business

  83. Realisation now that businesses don’t operate outside society. Corporate reputation important more now than ever

  84. not a recent change, more over last 10years I have seen in CSR, bid, PR and internal comms manager roles I have held.

  85. Metrics beyond pure financial performance. Framework to drive business growth

  86. definitely. Stakeholders are expecting to see companies’ well thought out CR campaigns, they’re > integral than ever

  87. CSR is no longer considered “going the extra mile.” Customers expect big brands to engage in philanthropic initatives

  88. T1: How has CSR changed recently? Has it become more integral to the comms mix and in terms of business practice?

  89. Yes. Move away from pure philanthropy to delivering sustained value. Performance with a purpose. Corps play wider societal role

  90. Want to know more about us? Have a look at this for a better insight!

  91. Hello all, this is Annabelle from the Communicate magazine events team joining in on tonight’s chat

  92. : looks at all aspects relating to communications, When: Mondays, 8:00pm UK.

  93. Good evening all, Emily here. Thank you for joining us tonight on our guests are and Welcome!

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