CSR can help you get yourself seen. Â Whatever youâ€™re selling, whether itâ€™s a service or a product, unless youâ€™re very niche youâ€™re competing in a crowded marketplace where it’s vital that you stand out.
Done properly, Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR isnâ€™t about gimmicky PR stunts and photo ops, but thereâ€™s absolutely no reason why companies shouldnâ€™t showcase the efforts they make to behave like good corporate citizens.
In fact, arguably, itâ€™s a very smart thing to do if you want to stand-out from other businesses in your sector that perhaps arenâ€™t blazing a trail in the way that you are.
See also:Â Public Relations
In this age of 24 hour news, constant connectivity and social media, people are continually vying for our attention.Â I donâ€™t know about you, but my email inbox is regularly inundated with e-newsletters â€“ most of which I just donâ€™t get time to read.Â They really have to be pretty compelling for me to want to dedicate the time to even opening them.
So, if Iâ€™m experiencing that and the fatigue that goes with it, the chances are so are my clients here at Remsol.Â With that in mind, I know that we have to present ourselves in a way that separates us from all the other firms out there that do what we do (or at least attempt to!)
One way to do that is to highlight the culture and values that are central to how we work, and our commitments to doing business in a socially integrated and responsible manner.
CSR and ESG factors are influencing buyer behaviour
If you have a B2B business model, the chances are that the procurement people youâ€™re dealing with nowadays are increasingly taking into account your approach to CSR and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factorsÂ when deciding whether or not to award contracts. Â In fact, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply has even produced a guide to more responsible procurement practices.
If you sell B2C, it’s probably the case that your customers are more likely to buy from you if they can see that you have strong ethical values.
Like it or not, if you don’t start to articulate your brand values properly, then you’re going to find your competitors eating your lunch.
How, where and what to communicate
When you start to think about communicating your CSR credentials, it makes sense to start with theÂ channels you control, like your website, email footers and your social media presence.
So, add a page to your website where you discuss your brand values. Â Like ours, here, where you’ll find a film about our support for a local disabled children’s charity. Â Tweet regularly and, if you’re a consumer-facing brand, be sure to post about your CSR achievements on your Facebook page.
If you trade B2B, then make sure that your proposals all contain reference to your CSR / ESG performance, and make sure it stands out – a footnote isn’t going to capture anybody’s attention.
What you communicate will need to be tailored to your audience. Â But if you’re a Living Wage Employer, you couldÂ tell people about that. Â If you’ve achieved the Investors In People award, that’s going to be worth knowing as well. Â You might also want to tell your customers about your waste savings, recycling efforts and other measures of sustainability in a B2B setting, or your approach to ethical sourcing if you’re communicating to a B2C audience.
Ultimately, as long as it’s genuine and not a blatant attempt at ‘greenwashing’ your image, then saying something somewhere about your attempts to conduct business responsibly will help you stand out from your rivals when it matters.
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