‘Tis the season of goodwill and the time of year when many businesses talk loudly about their charity and community efforts – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But good CSR and genuine community relations are not just for Christmas – engaging meaningfully with stakeholders takes much more than a one off donation at Christmas. We work closely with clients to ensure that their CSR is integrated into the fabric of the business. That means working with senior managers to identify growth goals and stakeholder groups and devising key messages as appropriate to these groups. We then look at how best to engage with those stakeholders – where are they and what is important to them? What do we want them to do – are we changing behaviour, attitudes or habits? What are the values we want them to take on board? Only then can we start to identify activity that will drive the business forward meaningfully. CSR is not just for big business either – but it tends to be very small or very large businesses that do it really well as they crystallise values most clearly and have the flexibility to react appropriately. CSR is also much more than staff charity work – it’s reengineering everything your businesses does to reflect your values. It can be hugely rewarding, exciting and motivating.
Of course giving a charity donation instead of sending Christmas cards is laudable – and charities are most grateful for that support – but hang on tight to the goodwill feeling and make it last all year.