Make the most of your corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities by publicising them. Ensure that customers, suppliers and the local community know what you are doing. CSR lends itself to good news stories and is a source of positive public relations (PR).
Role of PR in promoting your CSR
Publicity can be a key part of using CSR to win contracts. People want to buy from businesses they respect. CSR can be particularly effective for targeting ethical companies, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
At the same time, you should see CSR as part of a continuing process of building long-term value. Everything you do should help improve your reputation and encourage customers and other stakeholders to stay involved with you. A business that buys recycled paper - but exploits its customers and ignores the community - has missed the point.
Your business could also look at entering business awards that recognise and promote businesses that excel with corporate social responsibility projects. Potential awards your business could enter include:
- International CSR Excellence Awards
- Global Good Awards
- Business in the Community's Responsible Business Awards
- Guardian Sustainable Business Awards
- Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards
You could consider working towards a management standard which you can then use to promote your ethical, environmental or social responsibility. For example, many businesses have already achieved the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.
Socially responsible businesses act in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society. ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses can operate in a socially responsible way.
See more on quality management standards.
Effective CSR like this can give your business a competitive edge. Even with dozens of competitors, a real commitment to CSR lets your business stand out.
Find out more about public relations in PR: the basics.