How to respond to CSR demands improving organizations communication
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share

How to respond to CSR demands improving organizations communication

  • 456 views
Uploaded on

Properly reflecting companies’ commitment with sustainable and ethical behaviour is the main challenge of communication in relation to reputation and corporate responsibility. However, that......

Properly reflecting companies’ commitment with sustainable and ethical behaviour is the main challenge of communication in relation to reputation and corporate responsibility. However, that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has to go beyond the mere realization of ‘good deeds’ to become something strategic and integrated into the business.
Through accountability, companies are increasingly communicating the phenomenon of responsibility and ethics in business. This started to happen in the 90s when responsibility was not only concerning economic issues but social, environmental and labour issues within organizations.
This document was prepared by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership and contains references, among other sources, to the statements made by Larry Parnell, associate Professor of the Graduate School of George Washington University (USA), during the session “New developments and trends in sustainable communication” held by Corporate Excellence, the school of Communication at the University of Navarra and EOI Business School in Madrid on September 19, 2012.

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
456
On Slideshare
456
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
13
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Insights Strategy Documents I33/2013 Public Affairs How to respond to CSR demands improving organizations communication Properly reflecting companies’ commitment with sustainable and ethical behaviour is the main challenge of communication in relation to reputation and corporate responsibility. However, that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has to go beyond the mere realization of ‘good deeds’ to become something strategic and integrated into the business. Through accountability, companies are increasingly communicating the phenomenon of responsibility and ethics in business. This started to happen in the 90s when responsibility was not only concerning economic issues but social, environmental and labour issues within organizations. In the past years, this approach has prevailed, at least with regard to large companies. This has led to the need of improving the communication of CSR, developing skills and preparing strategic plans in order to introduce companies commitment to society and stakeholders and thus to improve its corporate reputation. But CSR paradigm goes beyond the traditional good deeds related to corporate philanthropy and social performance. It makes way to longer-term, comprehensive and strategic initiatives that have a clear connection to the business, and also to the expectations, needs and legitimate interests of stakeholders. Voluntary commitment According to Larry Parnell, associate professor of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University (USA) and director of its Strategic Public Relations Programme, CSR is a free and voluntary commitment of companies when making progress in a more responsible and ethical behaviour in which profitability is seen in economic and social terms. In that sense, in the past years the idea of CSR being something more than just financial profitability, it is considered more than just agreements with governments and NGOs. It is not only the performance of national and international legislation, but also the advance in standards and behaviour guide that go beyond that frame and in the direction of society real expectations. In the traditional approach CSR was seen as an obligation; a small part of the benefits had to be This document was prepared by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership and contains references, among other sources, to the statements made by Larry Parnell, associate Professor of the Graduate School of George Washington University (USA), during the session “New developments and trends in sustainable communication” held by Corporate Excellence, the school of Communication at the University of Navarra and EOI Business School in Madrid on September 19, 2012.
  • 2. How to respond to CSR demands improving organizations communication shared in order to continue the business, leaving behind important social issues for administrations and entities. The current approach is making the CSR something voluntary; shared valued must be created by putting the business at the centre of the strategy, engaging and working along with governments and organizations for the social improvement. ‘Doing good and doing well’ accurately reflects the idea of contribution and alignment with business, the idea of increasing and not diminishing, the idea of a generation of real and significant impact in society, the idea of sharing value and principles, the idea of strategic and long alliances pursuing the common good. ‘The current approach is making the CSR voluntary; shared valued must be created by putting the business at the centre of the strategy, engaging and working along with governments and organizations for social improvement’ Businesses sustainability is increasingly understood as a key factor for the businesses themselves. Essential elements are taken into account in order to enable businesses sustainability; such as improvements in manufacturing processes, which leads to a larger product competition and customer satisfaction. Likewise, improvements in education and community training will ultimately benefit the company much more than specific or permanent donations. Reputation and CSR A good corporate responsibility policy contributes decisively to the reputation of a company, in fact, CSR is the fastest growing dimension on the whole idea of corporate reputation, along with innovation and talent. Therefore, a good management contributes to the final ability of attraction that has the reputation in terms of talent, investment, sales, etc. In a research conducted by the communication consultancy firm Edelman in 2010, it was stated that consumers expect business leaders to introduce sense and purpose in everyday management, in their usual activities and behaviours, since, otherwise, the corporate reputation will be progressively diminished and damaged. However for CSR policy to contribute with the reputation, it is necessary for CSR to be aligned with reputation and reputation with corporative strategy and business goals. This contributes to strengthen the shield that means having a good reputation facing any crisis, and also to increase the brand value. A CSR correct strategy also goes through a process of active listening and dialogue with stakeholders and communities in order to define a framework of stable relations. Firstly, relevant issues for both parties are identified; and then, locally and globally business tools and policies that create economic, social and environmental value are established. Long-term communication That relation with strategy and reputation lead, inevitably, to a communication approach that is led by a long-term approach, also it is supported by the improvement measurement and management progress to justify the return of investment made in every moment. The way to arise a long-term communication strategy, along with the responsible and sustainable strategy, has to do with bonding achieving and stakeholder commitment, to the extent that precisely and rigorously accountability is made. But, above all to the extent that dialogue, exchange, transparency and participation of stakeholders in the strategy and actions is encouraged. Graph 1: A Framework of CSR Communication CSR communication Message content Initiavie Contingency factors Stakeholder characteristics Stakeholder types Issue support Commitment Impact Fit Awareness Attributions Trust Purchase, loyalty, advocacy CSR report Corporate website PR Advertising Point of purchase Media coverage Word-of-mouth Internal outcomes External outcomes Consumers Message channel Corporate Independent Communication outcomes Employees Productivity, loyalty Citizenship behavior, advocacy Company characteristics Reputation Industry Investors Amount of invested capital, loyalty Marketing strategies Source: The Harvard Low School Forum, 2011. Insights 2
  • 3. How to respond to CSR demands improving organizations communication Therefore, collecting the company specific commitments with every stakeholder in the form of a ethic code supported by the​ company values, rules, principles and performance criteria by which relations will be regulated between the two of them is the first essential part in order to achieve that trust and commitment needed to last. Target, channel and message definition is part of any communication strategy. Regarding to CSR the following aspects should be considered in order to achieve a guaranteed success; the analysis has to be based on the customers selection that have created more demands and expectations, those targets who have more ability to extend the responsible action and corporate reputation –in this case, employees are a fundamental part of the whole-. Also, when choosing a channel, it is important that they can create confidence, credibility and proximity-for example the current on-line channels-; Furthermore, when sending a message, they have to reflect the effective business commitment with society and they should create the biggest possible impact –for example, providing data and figures instead of just launching ideas and words-. ‘The key for a good CSR communication that is, without question, a major action topic choice; the choice of a reputational platform’ This continuous and permanent dialogue with the stakeholders has to be added to the globally key issues identification; they increasingly move entities and activist movements in various fields, and also they move actions being undertaken by the company through the follow up by KPI (‘Key Performance Indicators’) included in the scorecard reflecting the created needs and expectations. Only then a CSR communication strategy will be effective and successful. If there is a final key for a good CSR communication that is, without question, a major action topic choice. It is very important to identify a reputational platform that has informative potential, internal and external application, which is related to the business, and in which stakeholders can participate. Only in this way, it will be possible to project and profitable, when referring to communication the overall CSR strategy. But above all, it has to fit in the general trajectory of the company and its brand, making possible, in turn, connected stories that relate the most aseptic and reporting information with the most motivating and interesting actions. Conclusion: challenges in a crisis So far, CSR activities and a progressive support from and board administrations. major form of human and and higher budgets when ambitious plans. communication had steering committees This was seen as a economic resources, implementing more However, because of the crisis, many organizations and their CSR and Communication departments are seeing reduced their programs. Budgets are being cut, having to remove key activities for the positive perception and effective business contribution to society, paradoxically when they are more needed. For this reason, it is imperative to advance in the standardization and implementation of decision tools but at the same time, value accurate measurement that brings strategic management to the business, highlighting the benefits for companies. Graph 2: Engaging with society through CSR communication Students Customers NGOs and NPOs Symposiums Local community Listening to feedback from society Going forward with society Listen to feedback from society, and use it as reference in the CSR management of the Ajinomoto Group to improve corporate activities Share global issues with society and consider the contributions the Ajinomoto Group can make, what the group can do through cooperating with society, and what each citizen can do for society Media Dialogue with stakeholders Communicating with society Communicate the corporate activities of the Ajinomoto Group by themes relevant to stakeholders, and further inform society of the group’s initiatives Business partners Event, sales promotions at stores, advertisements Experts Shareholders and investors Source: Ajinomoto Group, 2012. Insights 3
  • 4. Leading by reputation ©2013, Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership A foundation established by major companies aiming to excel in the management of intangible assets and facilitate promotion of strong brands with a good reputation and a capacity to compete on the global markets. Our objective is to become the driving force, which would lead and consolidate professional reputation management as a strategic asset, fundamental for building value of companies around the world. Disclaimer This document is a property of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership developed with an objective to share business knowledge about management of reputation, brand, communication and public affairs. Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the owner of all rights related to the intellectual property on images, texts, drawings or any other content or elements of this product. Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the holder of all necessary permissions for the use of the document and therefore any reproduction, distribution, publishing or modification of the document without its express permission is prohibited.