Consumers are putting their money where their mouth is, or at least where their values reside.
As Gen Z and Millennials are shaping marketing and setting economic trends that affect consumer behavior, more companies are choosing to take a stance on social issues. These younger generations of well-informed buyers do not distinguish between product (or service) and the company’s ethics; a company’s actions must match their purported values, on top of providing an exceptional offering.
With the likes of Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s, and Girlfriend Collective putting social responsibility at the top of their corporate priorities, consumers are continuing to prioritize spending their money at companies that can create a good product and that actively engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Sure, businesses operate to generate a profit, but these days you also need to consider two other “P’s” – people and planet.
With brands being watched 24/7 through traditional and social media, it is easy to detect when brands don’t truly support and actualize their CSR efforts.
These values need to be upheld in all facets of the brand, from suppliers used to work culture, which needs to be able to effectively communicate and promote their CSR strategy to prospective customers.
There is much overlap between the impact that CSR and public relations have; both aim to contribute to enhance reputation, build loyalty, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and aid in crisis management.
Whichever of these functions is the goal of an organization, PR and CSR work lockstep to add value to the business, non-profit, or government organization.
Some important questions to ask when considering a CSR strategy:
- How can the organization add value to the global community?
- What do my stakeholders care about?
- How can our stakeholders participate in our shared values?
- What is the desired impact?
- Does our CSR align with our overall business objectives?
Companies that become synonymous with their philanthropic efforts will garner more positive media coverage, and in turn these CSR efforts can become a focal point of the conversation around the brand itself.
If that’s not convincing enough, companies that engage in CSR tend to have higher profit margins and lower risk.
We know that it can be difficult to navigate the vast world of CSR and determine what fits best with the organization and its stakeholders’ values and it may take time to get it right. Xenophon has more than 20 years’ experience crafting socially conscious campaigns that support the values of clients and their audiences. Visit our website to learn more about our strategic messaging services: https://xenophonstrategies.com/services/strategic-messaging/.