Oxfam - the good guy among the big guys Company profile and reputation analysis.
Non-Profit PR Non profit PR is becoming more and more attractive for organisations who want to communicate information in an efficient and meaningful way. Organisations with big ideas and awareness of the social issues around the world. In modern days when Social Media is playing a big part in everyone’s life, it gets easier for Non-profit organisations to communicate their message to the publics.
Oxfam Oxfam’s story: It started in Oxford in 1942 as an Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. After the WWII Oxfam continued as a charity organisation and opened several shops in the area. Now Oxfam has shops in almost every town in Britain and many other countries. Oxfam is a growing confederation of 13 organisations for global impact. It fights against poverty and suffering.
Communications Strategy Media management Oxfam, being one of the biggest NGOs in the UK, has strong relationships with the media. That is why when a particular problem or an issue needs to be addressed to the publics, Oxfam primarily relies on media coverage. The organisation supports national and international media by its ad hoc media working groups. For example, there were updates on the Haiti disaster almost every day. Press releases are being made available for download.
Lobbying and advocacy What is advocacy? “Action that involves trying to influence and change the policy and practice of decision makers (such as governments, national and international institutions, local leaders) and to transform public perceptions, attitudes and behaviour. This can occur at local, national and international levels.” (Oxfam) There are times, though, when lobbying is the more appropriate communication tool Direct lobbying of the government/policy makers through writing letters, meetings or lobby sessions.
Campaigns Oxfam’s campaigns are aiming at overcoming poverty and suffering. Currently, they are focused on campaigning on climate change. The Climate Change campaign’s objective: to get a fair deal at the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2009. Oxfam wanted rich countries to recognise their obligations and responsibilities for the developing countries to adapt to the climate change.
Oxfam in the social media Oxfam has a great presence in the social media websites. This contributes to the organisation's reputation and brand awareness. If the organisation wants to present a campaign or raise an issue, the social media makes it a lot easier, cost-efficient and time-saving. Oxfam on Facebook - 37,358 fans. The page is very interactive and allows fans to start discussions, join the campaigns and receive updates on the current issues Oxfam is dealing with. Oxfam on Twitter – 14,596 followers increasing with every minute. The Twitter page informs the followers about new causes and articles on the official website and new deals in the Oxfam shops as well. http://www.facebook.com/oxfamGB http://www.twitter.com/oxfamgb
Stakeholder Relationships and Reputation Oxfam has made 3 stakeholder surveys so far and the data shows that the stakeholders are overall satisfied with the organisation. They say it is improving its performance at influencing governments and organisations in order to reduce poverty and suffering.
The main stakeholders at Oxfam are: Financial supporters Their contribution has a great impact but still not enough involved in the campaigns. Volunteers The volunteers speak highly about the organisation, they feel they really made a difference. Their relationship with Oxfam is strong and they would definitely spread the positive word about it. Staff May be the most critical stakeholder group, mainly unsatisfied with Oxfam cost-cutting policy.
The main stakeholders at Oxfam are: Campaign supporters Strong support for the three main campaigns but ill-informed about everything else that goes on in Oxfam which maybe an obstacle for Oxfam to build a good reputation. Partners Highly positive response on the way Oxfam works. Partners in particular campaigns and programmes would be happy to work with Oxfam again. This comes as no surprise as working with a non-profit organisation raises the corporate profile of a company.
Good corporate reputation leads to satisfied stakeholders The Essence of the reputation is how the organisation is perceived by the stakeholders Some organisations try to define their reputation by measuring their performance. A better way of doing this is actually measuring the perceptions of the stakeholders. The reputation is not owned by the managers or the organisation itself, it exists in the minds of the stakeholders. Oxfam being an international non-profit organisation has a good corporate reputation. The organisation is largely supported by the publics and is valued for its campaigns.
Oxfam in the land of non-profit Voluntary and charity sector is very saturated. There are a number of charity organisations collecting donations for research and development but Oxfam takes a step forward with its innovative and interactive online and offline campaigns. This particular organisation has shown an understanding in getting people involved through different channels and campaigning for relevant matters.
References: L‟Etang, J and Pieczka, M (2006) Public Relations, Critical Debates and Contemporary Practice Lawrence Erlbaum Haywood, R., 2005. Corporate Reputation, the Brand & the Bottom Line: Powerful, Proven Communications Strategies for Maximizing Value. 3rd ed. : Kogan Page. Public Relations Quarterly , 2006. All Business. [Online] Available at:http://www.allbusiness.com/administrative-support/administrative-services-employment/3932096-1.html [Accessed 22 November 2010]. Oxfam 2010. Oxfam Annual Report & Accounts . Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/reports/report_accounts09_10.pdf [Accessed 23 Nov 2010]. Oxfam 2003. Stakeholder Survey 2003 Report. Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/reports/survey2003-4.pdf [Accessed 23 Nov 2010].
References: Oxfam, Institute of Education, University of London., Working with the Media on Gender and Education: A Guide for Training and Planning . A Beyond Access, [Online] Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/education/downloads/education_media.pdf [Accessed on 23 Nov 2010]. http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/ [last accessed on 23 November 2010] http://www.oxfam.org.uk [last accessed on 23 November 2010] http://www.facebook.com/oxfamgb [last accessed on 23 November 2010] http://www.twitter.com/oxfamgb [last accessed on 23 November 2010]