Talk delivered at Monash University - How to effectively communicate corporate and community investment and developmentPresentation Transcript
Effective Communication Community Investment and Development Reana Rossouw Next Generation Consultants
Communicating the good stuff…
It is easy to communicate:
When you have something nice to say
How much money you have spend on your community projects
How many people you have impacted, books/wheelchairs/ sewing machines you donated, food parcels you have distributed, etc.
But what if there is not a lot good news?
What if there was no/limited/negative impact
What if no one is interested or care about your projects?
What if no one publishes your stories?
What if you get the wrong end of the story?
What if it is not enough to save your reputation?
This is what we know…
Companies do CSI because…
They score BEE points
The industry charter or legislation requires it
They are part of the JSE SRI Index
They have to produce a sustainability report
Their competitors are doing it
Their customers expect it
The CEO said it is the right thing to do
It is a way to sell more products and services – especially poor people
And the board said it will be good for the company’s reputation
Very few really know what they want to achieve with their CSI – they hope that their contribution will either take people out of poverty, let them pass matric, or make them healthier, etc
A case in point…
The mining industry spends about R2 billion per annum on community relations, investment and development
They outspend all other industries – 2x
They have built towns, schools, clinics, trained people, created industries and jobs and they pay their taxes – they are the generous good guys
So then why do the youth want to nationalise mines/banks/property?
Why do they hate the mines/business/industry so much?
Why don’t the communities appreciate what they do?
Case Study: Arcelor Mittal
Case Study In 2008, ArcelorMittal South Africa had a target of investing 1% of net profit after tax incorporate social investment initiatives. However, company-wide cost-cutting meant only R21 million of the originally-budgeted R57 million were spent. Comprising case studies from seven countries ranging from the Czech Republic to India and South Africa, the report reveals new problems emerging around ArcelorMittal’s iron ore mining operations in Nimba County, Liberia, including unclear resettlement plans for local people, a lack of permanent employment from the mine, threats to the Mount Nimba Nature Reserve, and a questionable donation of 100 pick-up trucks. The report highlights that despite ArcelorMittal's rhetoric on social responsibility, it continues to destroy the environment, risk people’s lives and displace local communities http://globalactiononarcelormittal.blogspot.com/
Other corporates face the same issues….. www.waronwant.com www.alternativereport.com
The thing is this: No amount of CSI money can outspend a bad reputation Neither can an advertisement convince people that there is: Meaningful Contribution Real change or impact If there is no evidence to support it
So what is the issue?
What is the story we are trying to sell & tell?
Are people believing it and buying it?
What value do we expect CSI to deliver to business?
Do we deliver on this expectation?
How do we link our community work to our brand and our business?
Measuring cm/clm or pictures of cheque handovers does not mean we have increased brand awareness
How do we use community investment to support and manage reputation risks?
By telling a story of meaningful impact which means we need to know how much: We have contributed to the country’s GDP, how many sustainable/new jobs we have created, what skills we have provided, how we capacitated organisations and empowered communities
We need to be able to tell a story of real, meaningful, measurable and quantifiable impact
Getting better at it
Understand the community communication context – different communication messages needs to be sent to different audiences in different mediums and mostly in different languages and settings
Combine the communication elements with the community expectations – most communication happens after the project is completed – allow communities to tell their own stories
Understand effective communication of CSI is different to normal communication processes : It provides a multi-purpose and multi-dimensional framework. It aims to:
Communicate effective program processes, practices and management
Educate and contribute to behaviour change which leads to better social, economic or environmental change and conditions
Ensure information dissemination, and/or public education
Communicate and promote coalition building, social and political mobilisation, economic empowerment and community capacity building
Better and Better
Understand that communication is a engagement process – not just push
Some of the outcomes of the CSI communication process should be :
To build relationships with the community and other stakeholders i.e. employees, customers, suppliers
To tell the real story – to be able to quantify and qualify the impact/change facilitated
To mitigate the reputation/business/operational risks
Towards Best Practice
Consider the industry context
Set a baseline for others to follow – dare to compare and provide comparative benchmarks
Remember what is really material/important
It is about community development and the company operating in a specific environment – go deep, go wide, go local and provide evidence
Report and communicate within reporting frameworks
Consider the likes of -Global Compact or GRI or ISO standard
Communicate value/benefit/impact to both community and the business – be fair
Next Generation Consultants
Specialists in Corporate Sustainability and Integrated Sustainability as well Socio Economic Investment and Development
Tel: (011) 258 8616
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PRESENTATION IS PART OF A LARGER BODY OF RESEARCH!
THIS INFORMATION IS COPYWRITED AND THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF NEXT GENERATION CONSULTANTS