I am going to talk you through the final Part of Kelley McElhaney’s, JUST GOOD BUSINESS, The strategic guide to Aligning CSR and Brands. The first two chapters talk about the need for a good SCR business strategy and how to use this to build you brand equity.
When I first read the title of the final chapter I thought wow what a great topic I get to talk about all the things that I want to do on a Monday morning, which mostly consisted on me sleeping especially after a heavy residency.
However, what I quickly discovered was that this chapter was all about the importance of planning in order to implement a successful CSR strategy. Guides choices and decisions about what CSR plan to implement Proactive - Allows you to be proactive in forming the right strategy rather than being reactive when issues arise IMPACT – positive impact on your business
You must start with selecting the right point person to take responsibility. The you must assess the current CSR strategy and only keep those things that match your core competencies and goals.
You must then look at how the industry operates and at what your competitors are doing well and badly. Then form a diverse team to build a CSR plan that has clear goals and realistic targets.
Next you must get key internal players to commit to your plan before clearly explaining your message to your external stakeholders. Make sure you measure, report and communicate your message simply and often
Next we will look at the 7 steps to mitigating the risk of implementing a CSR strategy, which can be high risk due to the fact that companies are now held accountable for what they do and what they commit to.
Don’t jump the gun. Work out what you want to do, develop and plan and then communicate your message and make sure that your message is simple so that customers do not get confused or disappointed
Make sure you start with small milestones and achievable goals to show early success. When it gets tough don’t change the plan but welcome critics and show them what you are trying to do.
Use the voice of those that you are helping to tell the world what great things you are doing and be proactive not reactive in talking about your success and failures.
Measuring Smart: It is not good enough to just implement a CSR strategy. You must develop metrics to evaluate, reassess and retool your CSR plan.
Be smart dont try to measure everything, just focus on things that are easily to measure and show clearly defined results. Make sure that they show how the CSR strategy has assisted your core business objectives.
Metrics should also focus on the objectives of the CSR report. Only a few topics should be chosen and only one or two different metrics should be used to measure them
Start buy assessing what your company has put towards the CSR strategy. Then show how the CSR strategy has improved the companies performance before showing what impact the strategy has had on the environment and society.
Measuring is an essential part of the plan. Keep it focused and simple and measure what matters. And try to sum up what you are doing in a simple message, image, storry or symbol like Tescos did with its aeroplane symbol
CSR is essential: It helps leverage your brand, attract talent and allows you to communicate directly with customers.
CSR has become an important part of most business strategies. Customers, employees and governments demand it And competitors are doing it. Don’t get left behind
US corporations are deemed to be low on trust. Companies can form a bond with clients by building lasting relationships with NGO’s who are trusted far more by customers. That bond of trust can build your brand equity
And I leave you with Kellie McElhaney’s favourite quote. ‘The only Thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing’ This is why we must use our companies to make positive change in the world
There is simply too much to do to sleeping in on a Monday morning.
Just Good Business
by Kelley McElhaney
The Strategic Guide to
Aligning CSR and Brands
The Importance of
A Plan can:
1. Guide you to the right decision
2. Proactive not Reactive
3. Positive Impact
8 Steps To Making A Plan
Step 1 - Select a point Person – CSR Manager
Step 2 – CSR Current Assessment (Internal)
Assess past and present CSR operations
Map them to core competencies and objectives
Look for gaps
Market Research and
Step 3 – External Analysis
Issues of Industry
Most Spectacular failures
Find the Sweet spot
Step 4 - Create a Team
From all parts of the business
Step 5 – Build a Strategic Plan
Sell The Plan
Step 6 - Get everyone on board
Step 7 – Measure, Report Communicate
Step 8 - Tell your CSR story components
7 Steps To Mitigating Risk
CSR - Risk are High
Companies are held accountable
What they do
And what they commit to
Don’t Jump the Gun
Step 1 – Plan
1. Develop substance
2. Develop a Plan
Step 2 – Simple Consistent Message
Easy for Consumer to understand
Step 3 – Start Small and Focused
Small wins and low hanging baskets
Step 4 – Persevere
Stick to the plan eve if its tough
Step 5 – Engage Critics