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Talk delivered at Monash University - How to effectively communicate corporate and community investment and development
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Talk delivered at Monash University - How to effectively communicate corporate and community investment and development






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Talk delivered at Monash University - How to effectively communicate corporate and community investment and development Talk delivered at Monash University - How to effectively communicate corporate and community investment and development Presentation 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
  • Contact
    • Reana Rossouw
    • Next Generation Consultants
    • Specialists in Corporate Sustainability and Integrated Sustainability as well Socio Economic Investment and Development
    • Tel: (011) 258 8616
    • E-mail: [email_address]
    • Web: www.nextgeneration.co.za