We’ve been talking a lot recently about corporate social responsibility here on the Logistics Bureau blog and that’s fine, because it’s a topic well worth talking about. In fact, this post focuses on why you should talk about the CSR efforts being made by your organisation, while also revealing three communication mistakes that you should try hard to avoid.
The first and worst mistake would be to remain tight-lipped and reticent about communicating corporate social responsibility progress and achievements.
Mistake #1: Not Talking About Your CSR Program
Whether it’s in an annual corporate social responsibility report or via press releases and other communication methods, you should shout out loud about your company’s CSR program—and here’s why:
If your company doesn’t tell the world about what’s going on in its corporate social responsibility program, someone else will.
More than likely that somebody will be the media, which means there is a very real chance that your company’s CSR efforts will be misrepresented. Far better for you to get the communication out there and make sure it accurately reflects what your CSR policies aim to achieve.
Mistake #2: Only Communicating the Positives
There is not a corporation in the world that doesn’t face some challenges and setbacks in its corporate social responsibility efforts. That means that if you only discuss the positive aspects of your company’s CSR program when you put out your reports or bulletins, your credibility might be called into question.
Be honest and open. Discuss the areas where your organisation is experiencing difficulties. Just as importantly though, communicate your plans for overcoming those difficulties. Society will appreciate the honesty. You might be surprised too, how often others are prepared to help, or at least provide some advice based on their own experiences.
Mistake #3: Communicating Every Minor Detail
While it’s vital to communicate corporate social responsibility plans, that doesn’t mean you have to issue a press release for every minor step you take towards realizing your strategic goals (Your company does have a CSR strategy doesn’t it?).
The trick is to communicate enough to develop a story that your customers and stakeholders can follow, without overdoing it to the point of diminished impact
Hearing is Believing
Letting your customers and stakeholders know about the work you are doing for people and the planet, as well as for profit, is a way to increase transparency and promote confidence in your brand.
Keep people informed about your CSR successes, challenges and aspirations. Where’s your company headed on the journey? Where is it now? How do you plan to attain your objectives and how far have you come?
By telling the world your company’s CSR story while avoiding the mistakes outlined in this post, you can make sure the right version is heard and that nobody uses your silence as a reason to tell your story their way.
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