A recent report from Ethical Corporation includes a detailed section on what corporate responsibility means for communication professionals
London, UK 26 October 2009
The Communications section of Ethical Corporation’s new report: How to Embed Corporate Responsibility across Different Parts of Your Company, explores corporate responsibility (CR) exclusively from the perspective of the communications professional.
This special report breaks down the key components of a successful CR strategy, and offers real-life examples from renowned companies that have incorporated CR into their communications efforts.
The report is divided into several key categories including: reporting, marketing, internal and external communication.
Highlights of these sections include:
• Reporting about CR activity is a crucial element in embedding sustainability into corporate culture. Moreover, it is vital that employees are kept aware of CR programmes and how they affect company activity.
Susanne Stormer, vice-president for global triple bottom line management at Novo Nordisk, states: “Bringing out a [CR] report in which we state what we have done and what we intend to do is a very important driver of performance internally.”
• Reports create transparency by sharing with stakeholders the company’s goals and accomplishments, and exposes targets that have yet to be achieved. This keeps the goals of the department(s) accounted for and accountable.
• By being honest about ethical challenges this demonstrates full transparency, company awareness of the key issues and revealing its CR efforts- all of which builds trust.
Hans von Boche, Starbucks’ director of CR and communications in Europe says: “There is a realization that you can do all the good you want, but if your customers and other stakeholders don’t see it then there seems to be less point.”
• A CR report can also be used as a base for a company’s PR strategy and communications, both internally and externally.
The report finds that reporting is crucial but must be partnered with an excellent internal and external communication strategy so your employees and the public are aware of your company’s commitment to CR.
• The report includes examples of how colleagues can help co-create or contribute to the CR message- this enhances the message’s authenticity, which is crucial to developing a company’s brand image.
• Marketing efforts: Pepsico’s director of public policy, Paul Boykas says that companies should tailor CR-related marketing carefully, focusing on the issues for that brand that are relevant to their specific consumers. “We wouldn’t do the same things for Lays potato chips in the US that we would for Walkers crisps in the UK, for example.”
• Insight into successful communication tactics such as crisp, clean messages, using different medium to reach your target audience- which doesn’t necessarily mean doesn’t necessarily mean incurring great costs.
• How conferences and seminars can be great opportunities to get the word out about your company’s CR efforts.
• Ideas on how to communicate CR efforts to employees to concretely show the real impact of even the smallest changes
The report also discusses ways your company can engage with the media and NGOs –including those critical of your company- to pro-actively communicate your desired CR message.
Managers interested in getting hold of the report can click here to be sent a free summary.
The four additional departmental guides can be viewed by clicking on this link.
About Ethical Corporation:
Ethical Corporation is an independent company providing competitive intelligence for business sustainability. We publish research, a magazine, a website, provide commentary services and host conferences around the world on responsible business.