Sustainability storytelling - James Osborne

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Annual Swiss conference on corporate digital communications. The aim of the gathering is to scratch beneath the surface of the latest buzzwords and trends in digital and understand what they really …

Annual Swiss conference on corporate digital communications. The aim of the gathering is to scratch beneath the surface of the latest buzzwords and trends in digital and understand what they really mean from a corporate perspective. We will delve into topics such as big data, storytelling, mobile and social media measurement. There is much smoke out there. What should be evaluated seriously?

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  • 1. 25TH GATHERING, ZURICH 8 APRIL 2014 BEYOND THE BUZZWORDS: MAKING SENSE OF TRENDS IN DIGITAL & LESSON LEARNED FROM KWD WEBRANKING SWITZERLAND 2013 Zurich, 8 April 2014 SUSTAINABILITY STORYTELLING IN A DIGITAL AGE (Starting with the experts to make sense to Aunt Agatha) JAMES OSBORNE #DIGITALBITES @JABOSBORNE
  • 2. 2014-04-14 | 2 The new sustainability challenges: • Report on what matters • Ask stakeholders what they think is important • Talk about your sustainability context and broader trends • Consider all issues where you have an impact, even if you don’t control it WHY IS STORYTELLING RELEVANT NOW?
  • 3. WHAT INFURIATES READERS? 14/04/2014 | 3 “Cherry picking; lack of performance data; bla bla” “I hate it when companies stick to GRI and do not communicate in an appealing and educational fashion” Fonte: Lundquist CSR Online Awards survey 2012 Readers put on their “anti-PR goggles”: What does this mean? Is this all? What are they NOT telling me? Does this really matter? What about the future?
  • 4. THE RISK OF A SUPERFICIAL, ONE-SIDED STORY Source: Lundquist CSR Online Awards survey 2013 (165 non-corporate responses) 52% “extremely” or “very” frustrating 71% Stakeholders’ and experts’ experience is severely impacted by the way companies choose to communicate online 14/04/2014 | 4 4% 10% 4% 11% 21% 28% 25% 26% 46% 26% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Self-promotion & PR style Too brief / superficial Least frustrating Most frustrating “extremely” or “very” frustrating
  • 5. YES, THE “EXPERTS” WANT STORYTELLING TOO Source: Lundquist CSR Online Awards survey 2013 (175 non-corporate responses) 1. See a case study or project in action (56%) 2. See examples of strategy in day-to-day business (50%) 3. Hear point of view of stakeholders (39%) 4. Get expert opinion on company activities (31%) 5. Better understand broader issues relevant to company (30%) 6. Get strategic overview from company leadership (29%) 14/04/2014 | 5 8,7 6,5 10,5 6 28,5 25 33,3 32,9 30,8 34,5 30,4 34,1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Watch video Use interactive data tools Use diagrams and charts Consult infographics Every day Every week Once or twice a month How often do you use the following for CSR or sustainability issues when online? (%) MOST WANTED VIDEO SUBJECTS
  • 6. BUT SURELY “AUNT AGATHA” WILL NEVER READ A SUSTAINABILITY REPORT? 14/04/2014 | 6 We studied surveys of consumer trends globally: they may not know what “CSR” or “sustainability” mean but expectations are closely aligned with “experts •They don’t trust grand claims and generic commitment TRUST •They want credible data and concrete evidence of environmental performance CREDIBILITY •They are keenly aware of the importance of sustainability to the core business of selling products & services INTEGRATION •They want to see how companies are ensuring the wellbeing of employees, suppliers and consumers PRIORITIES •They are connected, social, mobile… and impatient DIGITAL
  • 7. 2014-04-14 | 7 7 PILLARS OF CSR ONLINE AWARDS: NEW APPROACH Providing a core set of environmental, social and governance information, from policies and guidelines to data and objectives Allowing users to see “under the bonnet” with more detailed disclosure (for example on stakeholder engagement and target achievement) Speedy, intuitive navigation, reporting formats, search functionality as well as the user experience more generally (even giving penalties!) Keeping stakeholders updated on a regular basis (through news, blogs, etc.) and remaining open to feedback and comment Leveraging social media to listen, inform and engage both in generic corporate accounts and in accounts specifically geared to audiences interested in CR or sustainability Taking the CR message to stakeholders across the corporate website (as part of “about us”, information aimed at investors, journalists and jobseekers…) Using digital to tell an engaging, unique story that focuses on the most important issues and shows what strategy means in day-to-day, concrete contexts through storytelling, video and visual communication Concrete Transparent User friendly Ongoing Social Integrated Distinctive
  • 8. HOW SOME COMPANIES PITCH CSR 2014-04-14 | 8
  • 9. EXAMPLE: SAB MILLER’S 10 PRIORITIES 2014-04-14 | 9
  • 10. SAB MILLER: ORGANISED AROUND ISSUES 14/04/2014 | 10
  • 11. SAB MILLER: ENGAGING ON KEY TOPICS 2014-04-14 | 11
  • 12. Via San Maurilio, 23 | 20123 Milano Website: www.lundquist.it/ Blog: www.lundquist.it/blog/ James Osborne Partner Lundquist Head of CSR & content james.osborne@lundquist.it @jabosborne LUNDQUIST SRL CONTATTI SOCIAL PRESENCE Lundquist company page @Lundquist Lundquist page Lundquist channel Slideshare account