As a company, your customers are your community so the practice of ‘giving back’ has become a globally accepted part of doing business.
Technically known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), making periodic financial donations to deserving causes or giving out essential items to charity groups and institutions, helps enhance brand warmth as well as lift the company’s profile.
In recent decades, it is important for businesses that want to keep or attract consumers to convey responsibility towards social concerns like health or the environment as part and parcel of their own commercial existence. In recent years, the sensitive issue of human rights has also come into play.
For large scale companies involved in fast moving goods or critical services, CSR plays a central role because of the vast revenues they generate and the negative social perceptions that can arise because of this.
It is no longer enough for companies to just promote their services or products and make profits for shareholders. Consumers increasingly want to support brands that offer not only functional benefits but a social/charitable purpose as well. Companies that demonstrate an obligation to various charitable causes are generally perceived as more marketable than companies whose social responsibility activities are virtually absent.
For that reason, many individuals/consumers will gladly pay an exceptional for goods, knowing that part of the profits will be channeled towards social causes within the society. Embracing socially responsible policies goes a long way towards attracting and retaining customers, which is essential to a company’s long-term success.
Not only does having a CSR policy benefit society, it also boosts employee morale and frequently leads to greater productivity in the workforce, because they feel good about themselves and what they do.
On the other hand we cannot ignore the self-serving factor and this is when effective public relations is a crucial factor. When done well, it brings out and shares with the public, the objective of why a company/organization is taking on certain CSR programmes. Below are other reasons.
PR plays the informative role in CSR through inspiring employees to take action, contribute or participate in the organization’s CSR initiative.
Through public relations, communities are informed about how an organization intends to transform the society through charity. This in turn, strengthens the organization’s image and position.
PR helps socially responsible companies to project more attractive images to both consumers and shareholders, which serves to positively affect their bottom lines.
PR gives the organization a voice to inform and inspire people about its CSR efforts. Public relations provides a platform to organizations to add a voice to a social cause through availing them media coverage as they carry on with their charity policies.
Despite the competition, CSR accompanied by public relations gives the organization a competitive edge, a commitment to CSR lets an organization stand out.
Companies can likewise witness increased foot traffic if they engage with the local community. For example, banks that dispense loans to low-income households are apt to see an uptick in business, as a direct result.
The bottom line
Socially responsible companies that embrace public relations, can cultivate positive brand recognition, increase customer loyalty and enhance stakeholder relationships. These elements contribute greatly to achieving increased profitability and long-term financial success.