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Jan 17, 2012

How to Build a Successful Corporate Social Responsibility Program

CATEGORY: PUBLIC RELATIONS

According to the latest study by Cone Communications about cause marketing, conducted in 2010, 85 percent of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.

With that in mind, many major B2B corporations are developing significant and strategic corporate social responsibility initiatives—including corporate giving programs, employee community service or sponsorship of local projects or events. Corporate social responsibility programs, which illustrate responsible leadership and demonstrate community involvement, can be a valuable B2B PR tactic by helping to  boost a company’s image, attract and retain employees and inspire key stakeholders, including customers, investors and partners.

How can B2B companies go about creating a corporate social responsibility program? Here are a few simple steps:

  • Choose a social issue, charity or nonprofit organization to support. Whatever the company chooses should complement its business objectives, mission statement and overall PR strategy. Aligning the corporate social responsibility program so closely with the company ensures that the program will be both effective and sustainable.
  • When implementing the program, develop activities that help strengthen the community in which employees live, like volunteering, providing assistance in to individuals in need and promoting awareness of causes that affect that specific areas. By having a presence in the employees’ communities, the company can more successfully retain and attract promising employees.
  • Promote the company’s involvement in the corporate social responsibility program to the community and also to the key stakeholders mentioned above. Most businesses send out press releases in advance or following certain events, but also consider including articles within annual reports and newsletters sent to board members, customers and financial analysts. Social media, which can be integrated with other B2B PR tactics, is a great way to generate discussion for people interested in the program.
  • Evaluate the program. Make sure that it’s fulfilling the company’s social responsibility efforts and maintaining positive business ethics and practices.
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