Corporate Social Responsibility… seems like scary stuff right? It’s not! Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR for short, simply refers to a corporation’s obligation to give back to its’ community. Common tactics used for CSR are partnering with charities, customized company outreach programs, hosting community events, volunteering, and simply donating money to worthy causes. Showcasing your charity work on your website or through communication channels is acceptable by mention only and a great way to boost your company image.
Think of the process as symbiotic or a two-way relationship. If DAWN helps clean the environment and animals affected after an oil spill, this helps their company image by doing something good as well as showing that their product actually works. Also, if DAWN promises to be a large contributor to cleanup after oil spills, people are more likely to buy DAWN to support these clean up efforts.
Another example of CSR is Wal-Mart’s’ efforts to sell locally produced food. It is obvious that when big food corporations pop up in a new town, the relationship between local growers and small markets is no longer necessary. By Wal-Mart buying produce from these growers and still allowing them to sell to local markets, they are preserving these small businesses and helping communities receive local produce.
So, how does this relate to smaller companies? Community involvement can be a great way to create a positive relationship with your consumers no matter how small your business is. Volunteering as a company is a great way to get involved in your company’s community and it shows that you are willing to be a part of something bigger than just your business. If you have the money and resources to create your own customized campaign, do it! The more personalized your efforts are, the easier they will be traced back to your company.
A quick tweet about your company's recent outing to a local food shelf is a great way to share your involvement in your community without overdoing it. By understanding the role of Corporate Social Responsibility in a successful company image and impactful marketing efforts, you can now use this concept to your advantage. By just associating yourself with a good cause you will wreak both social and financial benefits.