Maximizing Influence through CSR Initiatives {eBook}
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Maximizing Influence through CSR Initiatives {eBook}

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CSR is a hot topic, due in no small part to the fact that supporting the causes or issues that your customers feel strongly about is both good business and good for those causes. ...

CSR is a hot topic, due in no small part to the fact that supporting the causes or issues that your customers feel strongly about is both good business and good for those causes.

As Bahar Gidwani, CEO of CSRHub, points out in the foreword to “Maximizing Influence through Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives,” a well-executed CSR program can demonstrate “hard” results such as: higher operating margins; increased employee satisfaction or loyalty; reduced risk from civil or natural disasters; and higher brand values. CSR can directly impact your company’s bottom line and using influencer insights further enhances CSR programs by inserting your company in the right conversations with the right people.

Our CSR-focused eBook will help you and your company harness influence marketing to create, expand and measure your CSR efforts. This eBook details:

Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility
The business case for CSR
Elements of a CSR strategy
How CSR can cultivate trust
Where influence marketing and CSR intersect
We’ve also included three brief use cases illustrating the intersections between influence marketing and CSR.

Download our free eBook today for ideas you can use now, or build into your ongoing CSR strategy.

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Maximizing Influence through CSR Initiatives {eBook} Maximizing Influence through CSR Initiatives {eBook} Presentation Transcript

  • Maximizing Influence through Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. A company’s social responsibility initiatives influence how investors, suppliers, customers, community, and employees perceive it. Many companies try to maximize changes in perception by using broad PR techniques. However, new tools have been developed over the past few years that identify and target specific individuals and organizations who influence perception. Other tools connect improved perceived social performance to improved brand strength, lower corporate risk, and improved operating performance. These sophisticated methods allow corporate managers to use social initiatives to create competitive advantages for their companies. Hundreds of organizations track the social responsibility of corporations. These organizations include: Wall Street research houses; individual activists; news publications; web sites that advise consumers on purchase and job decisions; industry associations; and not-for-profit organizations. These groups produce data that often contradict what companies volunteer via press releases, financial reports, and corporate web sites. Several groups (including CSRHub) are trying to simplify and standardize company social initiative measurement and reporting. As managers integrate social performance into corporate strategy, its effect on corporate stakeholders will increase. To manage this trend, corporate managers must learn new techniques for managing their social initiatives. Armed with these techniques, managers can look for the best practice to follow, before they start a new project. They can set goals for their projects and measure progress towards these goals. In some cases, they will seek to achieve “soft” results, such as a higher rank on an industry report, approval from a community organization, or receipt of an award. In other cases they may demonstrate “hard” results such as: higher operating margins; increased employee satisfaction or loyalty; reduced risk from civil or natural disasters; and higher brand values. Maximizing these benefits should soon become one of the core skills that all modern managers need. Foreword By Bahar Gidwani, CEO, CSRHub LL, http://www.csrhub.com 2
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. •  Corporate Social Responsibility Defined •  Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility •  Elements of Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy •  Corporate Social Responsibility and Trust Points™ •  Influence Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility •  Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Stakeholders •  Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting and Accountability •  Use cases: –  Identify Influencers Passionate About Cause –  Identify Influential Cause as CSR Partner –  Identify Influential Topics Important to Your Customers In this eBook 3
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. Corporate Social Responsibility defined 4 What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)? •  Programs that improve social and environmental outcomes while building business value for your firm •  Corporate social responsibility is also known by a number of other names, including corporate citizenship and corporate sustainability •  Sustainability is now a permanent part of 70 percent of corporate agendas •  50 percent of companies reportedly have changed their business model because of sustainability opportunities Sources: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/reports/sustainability-strategy/ http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/video-sustainability-the-new-business-model-opportunities/
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. •  Enhance trust in your company and increase your reputation •  Raise awareness among your internal and external audiences •  Make your company more competitive •  Maximize the impact your business has on the issue •  Build sales •  Develop your workforce •  Boost enthusiasm and innovation How can a corporate social responsibility initiative help your business? 5
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. Elements to include in your corporate social responsibility strategy •  Demonstrate the ways your company is committed to managing economic, social and environmental business practices –  Consider ways you will address the “triple bottom line” (TBL) – people, profit, planet – in your corporate strategies •  Identify causes/non-governmental organizations most suitable to align with your industry, mission and values, location, size, financial performance, reputation, philanthropic interests, and track record –  Strive to find social causes and issues which tie your CSR efforts to your core mission 6 PLANET Environmental Performance PROFIT Economic Performance PEOPLE Social Performance Sustainability
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. •  Develop influence marketing/engagement strategies around your cause(s) as way to reach target audiences •  Create media and messaging to educate and engage stakeholders about your CSR initiatives •  Determine ways you will measure and report your results in online and print media, sustainability and annual reports Elements to include in your corporate social responsibility strategy (cont’d) 7
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. Corporate social responsibility programs can also trigger trust points™ 8 •  There is an ever-increasing number of touchpoints in the buyer’s journey, which is essentially a search for trust •  Influence-driven corporate social responsibility initiatives help to inform trusted individuals, who – as trust points™ along the buyer’s journey - can generate credible awareness and recognition for your cause Our Marketing through Trust eBook describes the number of trust points™ a buyer goes through as they move through the purchasing journey.
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. How to use influence marketing for corporate social responsibility 9 •  Measure the influence of the issues or causes you may wish to align your company with, to determine whether your efforts will be impactful enough for your goals •  Identify respected individuals who are passionate about an issue and can help promote efforts or be directly involved in the initiative •  Create a content strategy, leveraging influencers in the cause, that “tells and doesn’t sell” your CSR initiative •  Optimize and differentiate your CSR program from others in the space by helping your executives become influential in your cause or initiative, as opposed to being a company that just pays for CSR activities
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. How to use influence marketing for corporate social responsibility (continued) 10 •  Build an integrated portfolio of CSR activities to help increase customer awareness about your CSR activities –  Social network pages e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest –  Blog articles –  Micro-websites –  Sustainability section on corporate website –  Owned or partner events •  Measure your company's influence on issue(s) over time –  Use the Appinions CSR module to leverage cause-specific insights and analytics
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. •  Enhanced corporate image by associating with an organization known for its contributions to society •  Help provide access to new markets, customers, and networks •  A competitive advantage versus competitors who do not associate themselves with a cause •  The opportunity to save money and time by drawing on the expertise of the cause to solve particular challenges •  Enhanced brand value and reputation •  Improved recruiting and employee loyalty Long-term benefits of CSR include: 11
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. •  Conduct initial social and environmental reviews •  Define sustainability strategy •  Design sustainability programs •  Set objectives and targets Adopt a Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) approach How will you know whether your CSR program is effective? 12 ACT•  Management review PLAN DO •  Develop structure •  Provide training •  Introduce programs CHECK •  Conduct audit of stakeholder reactions and corporate financial performance Report the outcomes in either a separate sustainability report or an additional section of your Annual report.
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. ! ! Use Case: Identify Influencers Passionate about Cause 13 •  TOMS Shoes has partnered with the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization, since 2012. •  ECI was founded by actor and director, Ben Affleck. •  By partnering with ECI, TOMS is able to leverage the reach of Ben Affleck and his fans and followers to draw attention to their ECI partnership.
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. Use Case: Identify Influential Cause as CSR Partner 14 •  Although the World Wildlife Fund might not seem like the most natural fit for Coca-Cola, their partnership is specifically focused on protecting polar bears (which feature prominently in some Coke ads). •  Coca-Cola has identified a much-loved, feel-good and reputable cause with huge influence and many fans and followers.
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. Use Case: Identify Influential Topics Important to Your Customers 15 •  Organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield Farm, has earned notoriety as an example of a brand that has successfully integrated sustainability within many facets of the organization. •  They have identified the topics which will have the most influence with their customers, and created microsites and content to support those topics, illustrating how their practices and products support those ideas. •  Their active communication of their core topics, through email, social media, and PR, have helped them gain loyal customers and expand their business.
  • Copyright © 2013 Appinions. All rights reserved. 16 To learn more about our Corporate Social Responsibility module, click here for more information and video overview. Share this ebook