CSR Communication: 5 ‘Must-Read’ Articles – CSR Weekly #4
Welcome to the fourth edition of the CSR Weekly.
As always, this post includes 5 must-read articles for all things to do with responsible business.
Each time, the articles will revolve around a central theme.
This week’s theme: CSR Communication
With Earth Day fast approaching (April 22nd), this is the article that inspired the theme for this week’s CSR Weekly. Something like Earth Day is exactly the kind of bandwagon that many companies try to jump on, so it’s useful to acknowledge that not all claims will be sincere and truthful. From a consumer perspective, it provides handy guidance to avoid undeserving products. However, I also think it provides great guidance for businesses. With ‘greenwashing’ such a huge problem in the fields of sustainability and CSR communication, this article actually provides good methods for firms to stay out of trouble.
In what is perhaps a slightly more corporate article, Patricia Mackenzie makes some really interesting points. Firstly, she identifies and explains how important communication is to a CSR strategy. She then goes on to highlight some clear, pragmatic tips for companies devising a strategy. My personal favourite is #5, which simply reads ‘show progress’. It’s easy for companies to make engaging content with ambitious goals and targets, but in the long run, consumers will favour those who continuously communicate the progress they’re making against those goals.
As with pretty much every edition of the CSR weekly so far, you can always rely on Triple Pundit for some excellent evergreen content. In an article dating back to 2012 (but still just as relevant in 2018), Jen Boynton articulately explains why CSR communication is so pivotal. I really like the refreshing approach that Jen takes, claiming that at it’s core, CSR is about how companies engage with the world. It’s a really interesting way of looking at it, and it certainly helps underpin the notion that communication is an integral part of CSR, rather than just an add-on.
I really like this article as it approaches the issue of CSR communication from a marketing perspective, as opposed to a CSR perspective specifically. In doing so, it really highlights that CSR can tangibly impact and benefit brands, and I really like the underlying assumption that traditional business areas need to work together in order to maximise both value to society and to the business. I also really like the point about the importance of senior management participation. As I mentioned in my article about successful social leadership, CEOs must be public ambassadors for the issues they care the most about.
To wrap things up, I think this article by Joanne Fritz provides another interesting angle. Looking at the slightly related idea of ’cause related marketing’, Joanne comes at things from the perspective of non-profits. Quite often, for-profit companies use partnerships and affiliations with non-profits in order to create a mutually beneficial marketing strategy. Whilst it’s still a ‘young’ concept, it’s something that is quickly entering the majority of CSR strategies. As a result, Joanne’s article provides a great introduction to the idea, and would be a great read for non-profits and for-profits alike.
That’s all for this week! If you enjoyed these articles, please hit any of the share buttons below and/or leave a comment. Thanks!
Hi! I’m an author and blogger within the fields of social impact and responsible business. I believe that businesses can be a force for good in the world, and this website contains my thoughts on how that can work.