“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.” -Craig Davis

“We need to sto…

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“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” — Peter F. Drucker

“Management is …

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Are You Ready to Rumble?

One of the problems currently infecting the business industry today is that companies are not on the same page as their consumers. Whether it be a result of confusion, incorrect consumer analysis, or lack of communication, some thing is jamming the signals. So how do you get on the same page

1. Understand the Consumer Responsibility Segmentation

Make sure you know who you consumer is and target the segments that make the most sense to your industry/product/ service. The Global Consumer Responsibility Segmentation is a separation by how consumers view their role in addressing social and environmental issues through their purchases. These consumers are split into 4 categories:

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13% Old Guard: Male 55+

Make it personal and loyal, keep engagement turn-key, stick to traditional communication - keep it simple

main.happy-go-lucky 41% Happy-Go-Lucky: Male/Female 18-34

Make info easily accessible, focus on dual benefits, provide simple ways to get involved - give them credit

heart26%Bleeding Heart: Female 18-34

Demonstrate personal and corporate impact, encourage feedback, make messages sharable – get them involved

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21% Ringleader: Male/Female 35+

Establish a dialogue, be transparent and detailed, consider a collaborative approach - put them to work for you

2. Know when they are ready!

Consumers want to get engaged with CSR efforts!

  • 92% would buy a product with social/environmental benefit
  • 90% would stop buying products if they heard a company was irresponsible
  • 84% would tell family/friends for a company’s CSR efforts
  • 78% would donate to a charity supported by a company they trust
  • 78% would voice their opinion on CSR efforts
  • 77% would volunteer for a cause that a company they trust supports

This just goes to show that consumers are ready and willing to follow you into your CSR initiatives-NOW!

3. Get ready to rumble!

With consumers at your back and employees at your side, CSR initiatives are no longer out of reach. With this in mind there should be no question in moving forward. Figure out the initiatives that interest your consumer group and employees the most and get ready to make some incredible impact

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NFL: More than a game

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“Go for the TD”

Many companies stop at their product and think that is enough, when the possibilities for moving forward are endless. The key is to go further than your product. Always be thinking touchdown. Once you hit the first down mark, aka your product, keep running! See that goal line approaching? It’s the impact you can make with that product or through your company.

How are you giving back?  

According to Cone Cause, 28% of consumers think businesses should not only support, but also advocate for change and increase awareness via donations or volunteering. Is the way you are giving back strategic? Is it core to what you are doing? These are questions that must be addressed to make sure you a giving in the most effective and efficient ways. Volunteering can be incorporated into many types of organization. Corporate volunteering not only builds unity amongst employees it also helps you win “fans”. Fans are those people who will wait day and night for your products, who will promote your product positively and to no end. Through giving back, you have the opportunity to create a community of fans that support you through thick and thin. Just like having a hometown football team. No matter how down they are fans will sit out in the pouring rain and snow because that is what brings the community together. Does your company bring the community together?

Well the beloved Cleveland Browns sure do. They are a perfect example of a NFL team that dedicates itself to giving back to the community of fans it is supported by. This strategy in turn helps them create even more fans. They wanted to send a message to the community that you are our biggest fan and we want to be yours. How do you ask? The Cleveland Browns used several strategies to give back while promoting themselves. First, they used product donations. The more jerseys they give out the more people become walking advertisements for their organization. The most impressive thing is the amount of donation requests they actually receive. These have now become manageable and reportable from the use of the Profits4Purpose software. The Browns imagined the time that could be saved and the products that could be resourced if the donation process was streamlined electronically. Their imagination became a reality when they moved their donation process online. Now donations are quickly processed and more direct impact is in motion.The Browns imagined the time that could be saved and the products that could be resourced if the donation process was streamlined electronically. Their imagination became a reality when they moved their donation process online. Now donations are quickly processed and more direct impact is in motion.Another thing they do is player appearances and volunteering. Players will go help at a local charity, which in turn helps them because the people they help turn into fans. Finally, they give away season tickets and awards to keep them always coming back and reminding them why they love the Cleveland Browns.

Obviously this strategy may not work for everyone, but its important to make sure to always give back in a way that is core to your brand. It’s all about giving people something to believe in. Why shouldn’t that something be your company?

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“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols

“The most basic…

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Volunteering is Good for Employees

Volunteering is usually an optional pass time that you do to refill your heart with good feelings about changing the world one day at a time, but what if it was actually good for your health?

I recently stumbled across a study that goes in depth about the positive affects that come from volunteering. Take a look at what they found.

power-of-volunteering

Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study

The study reveals that :

  • 76 percent of U.S. adults who volunteer report that volunteering has made them feel physically healthier
  • 78 percent report that volunteering lowers their levels of stress, leading to feeling better than adults who do not volunteer

The study also illustrates that employers benefit from employees who volunteer in terms of better employee health and in professional-skills development that employees use in the workplace. The study reveals four key benefits of volunteering that make a positive impact on people’s health:

  • Health: volunteers say that they feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally;
  • Stress: volunteering helps people manage and lower their stress levels;
  • Purpose: volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and to others;
  • Engagement: volunteers are more informed health care consumers, and more engaged and involved in managing their health.

The study also shows that volunteering is good for employers:

  • the health benefits volunteers enjoy also benefit the workplace – employers can expect lower health care costs and higher productivity from employees who volunteer;
  • volunteers in the study report lower stress levels; other, established research shows that reducing employee stress contributes to higher productivity and levels of engagement;
  • volunteering can develop employees’ work skills, which benefits employer and employee;
  • volunteers report that volunteering helps them build teamwork and time-management skills; fosters stronger relationships with colleagues; and supports professional networking;
  • volunteer activities lead to stronger positive feelings toward an employer when volunteer programs are supported in the workplace.

20-Compelling-Reasons-to-Consider-Volunteering-After-College-594x449

The bottom line seems to be that no matter in what way find some time to volunteer. The effects are two fold. It increases overall physical and mental health, decreases stress, increases engagement, and leads to a feeling of belonging; all the while giving back to the ones who need it most.

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Social Media & CSR: Past and Future Avenues for Communication

“The Revolution of the Internet has been Extraordinary”

We recently stumbled across this info-graphic that really puts the transformation of internet technology, users, and uses into a tangible perspective. The internet’s most prominent use is clearly communication. This communication spans all across the globe – but the real magic is created when tools help bend and shape communication in new ways!

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“You Can’t Escape the Advertising”

Now, in 2014, there are certain social media outlets that truly stand out among the rest. Marketers have begun to realize the “noise” that can be created from these channels. No longer do TV, Sport, Magazine, and Newspaper monopolize the advertising industry. Within the rise of the millennials lay people who have the slightest attention span for advertising. In such a trending society, it is hard for marketers to keep up and thus grab the attention of this generation. It is this exact problem that has caused social media to be so successful. Instead of interrupting the lives of those they are trying to reach, they nest ads into places like Facebook and Linkedin to subtly direct the attention of the user into a certain area. Think about it for a second- Where are the ads on Facebook? On the right side of the page of course! Personally no matter how focused I am on browsing my news feed, Facebook’s “smart” advertisements analyze the sites you have recently visited and create relevant content that is sure to capture your attention. These constantly pop up on the side of your homepage and sporadically within your news feed.

“Social Media in Relation to CSR”

The Facts:

There are millions and millions of people who utilize these social networks- take advantage of them! For example, here is a run down of the users for the top social networks. Facebook has over 1,110,000,000 monthly active users (StatisticBrain), Twitter has 554,750,000 total active registered users (StatisticBrain), Linkedin has 248,486,181 users (socialbakers),  Pinterest has over 70 million users (Semiocast), and Instagram has over 80 million registered users who have shared nearly 4 billion photos (Instagram)How incredible! If companies do not choose to communicate via social media, they are missing out on a billion plus people- just in the case of Facebook!

Cone Communication & Relevant Studies Reveal Importance of Social Media:

A trusted source of research, Cone Communications, recently came up with the CSR Social Score. This score objectively measures the degree to which companies have embraced social media in their CSR efforts. The overall goal is to rate companies on how effectively they’re utilizing social media to both engage &  inform stakeholders on CSR topics.

Learn more in this TriplePundit interview with Anne Fajon from Cone Communications below.

Cone also conducted a study with Echo which included 10,000 people in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan. This study reported that 62% of them say they currently use social media to follow CSR issues. About 34% say they use social media to share positive information, 26% say they use it to share negative information, and 29% report using social media to learn more about the causes and companies they care about.

Wired Workforce, Networked CSR

This new white paper by Howard Greenstein and Tom Watson studied “several large American corporations who are using social media and who have found ways to involve employees, customers and stakeholders as they seek to achieve their CSR goals.”

They found that:

1. Companies are more comfortable using social media tools internally, but they’re waiting for external adoption by marketing before moving ahead to use them in CSR type efforts.
2. Employees seek choice and appreciate democratic participation.
3. Leadership is required to ensure continued participation in corporate giving campaigns, since employee participation is decreasing.
4. Both social media and traditional communications methods are used in employee giving campaigns and external outreach to communities.
5. Formal feedback loops for social media are the exception rather than the rule

TAKEAWAY:

Take a look at this info-graphic below to help you mold your company’s CSR communication via social media in the most effective way!

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Tips for CSR Communication

  • Become an influencer. Ask questions to start conversation and give your input in current conversations.
  • Be transparent, honest, and credible. This will help you earn- and keep- the trust of your audience.
  • Show consistency with your approach. Send the same message and exude the same ‘feel’ throughout all social media outlets. You want to brand yourself the same way. Be genuine.
  • Research. Find out what times your consumers are online the most and post then. Know the demographics of the people you are talking to and serve them appropriately. Keep up to date with new ways of communication through social media, as the industry is always changing!
  • Engage your audience.  Host Google hangouts, webinars & Twitter chats, have an active image via Instagram and Pinterest, and post events on Facebook.

 

See more at:

http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/721-a-guide-to-social-media-for-csr-professionals#sthash.snQod3e5.dpuf

http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/06/video-interview-anne-fajon-csr-and-social-media/

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/200978/#ixzz2aSoW6C9U

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54161974/Wired-Workforce-Networked-CSR-Final

http://onphilanthropy.com/2011/social-media-and-csr-are-we-there-yet-new-white-paper/

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The CSR Return

Let’s just give you the call to action up front: companies need to embrace social media, communicate the CSR return and make it personal! Why? Because these are the expectations for businesses today: be profitable and actively participate or drive solutions to our worlds biggest challenges. Now that the scene is set, let’s delve into the particulars.

Embracing Social Media

How can I put this lightly, embrace social media now!!! 

social media

Those companies who have yet to embrace social media are behind and will forever spend time catching up if they don’t begin connecting through social mediums. If you are one of those companies that have yet to do this, do something now or  you may never catch up. Your goal is to create a presence in the space. Become a thought leader. This can be done by:

  • Joining in on the conversations in your space
  • Sharing insightful information
  • Retweeting things you agree with
  • Expanding the reach of your posts
  • Obtaining loyal followers
  • Creating a blog, twitter, linkedin, facebook, etc

The millennial generation is completely connected and driven by social media. You can not miss out on having a piece of the millennial demand pie that is awaiting your bite!

Communicate CSR Return

According to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, there is a general association between financial performance and CSR expenditures;however, they believe it is irresponsible to rely on such generalized results.

WhatisCSR Instead, proponents of CSR must clearly demonstrate the impact of specific initiatives in measurable terms to advance the merits of CSR.They say the biggest challenge around CSR is that investors perceive it as discretionary spending unrelated to operational performance. When in reality, rich companies are the ones investing in CSR initiatives. Therefore, the overall level of CSR investment does have an impact on market perceptions because investors expect that only successful companies have enough cash and resources to sustain CSR expenditures.  They provide the following example “when expanding into international markets, executives might choose to support causes or programs in these countries. Since investors expect successful companies to maintain CSR investment, corporate leaders should determine where these expenditures will make the greatest impact”. So now that we know rich companies are experiencing a ROI with CSR, why can’t other companies invest and ultimately do the same? Regardless of company wealth, the end goal is to communicate CSR collective return, rally participation and  inspire involvement through the provided evidence.

Be Personal

CSR joke1When communicating the CSR ROI, it is imperative to be personal. Consumers want genuine and transparent information and involvement. Cone Communications 2013 Annual Social Responsibly Study found that 91% global citizens are eager to hear about CSR initiatives/progress with honest and clear messages.The key to communication is utilizing honesty and clarity.  The same study revealed that 70% of people are confused by messages companies use to talk about CSR initiative. Creating a tangible, clear and consistent message is what builds trust. Without trust you have nothing and the investment you have made in CSR is all for nothing. Why? Because it was not genuine and didn’t create true meaning. Instead of creating meaningless CSR programs, find something the employees or consumers you service care about! Relate to those people who keep your company going. Be personal with them. Show them that you care what they think and want.

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Community Impact University Style

We believe Universities have the power to have an incredible impact on society. We have seen this first hand as we have helped unite students, alumni and faculty in giving back millions in service, in-kind and cash donations.

Case in point, University of California, San Diego.  Through leveraging our simple and streamlined online platform, UCSD donated thousands of hours and was recognized as the #1 school for service in America.

This video gives a small look into how we’ve worked with other universities to unite students, faculty, and alumni around community service.

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