Corporate social responsibility. Corporate ethics. Sustainability. No matter what term you use, one thing is consistent: In today’s business environment, it’s more than a “nice to have.” Stakeholders – from employees to shareholders to community members and nonprofits – want to know your company is making a difference.
At Padilla | FoodMinds, we believe corporate responsibility (CR) is a holistic approach to doing business. Done right, it’s the integration of smart, strategic, and responsible practices that allow businesses, their stakeholders and communities to adapt, grow and thrive. To be successful, integrated CR programs must align with business goals, support the brand and address issues that are important to stakeholders and the communities in which you do business.
In an age where information can be disseminated more quickly and easily than ever before, it’s critical to establish a cohesive approach to managing your initiatives and communications. With seemingly every company looking to generate positive attention through their CR efforts, it’s a very competitive space.
Here are 5 ways you can focus and amplify you CR storytelling efforts by getting the right stories in front of the right people with the right context.
Engaging Stakeholders through CR storytelling
Be clear about what you stand for. Ensure that all stories “ladder up to a well-articulated platform with clear purpose and point of view. Communicating too many efforts without clearly connecting how they align to the business and overall CR platform can fall to cut through the noise and miss the mark when it comes to resonating with consumers and other key stakeholders.
Prioritize stories with human interest. Put a face on your CR story and focus on stories that are engaging and drive an emotional connection with the reader. Some of your efforts may be important but are not necessarily newsworthy.
Move the needle on issues that matter to your stakeholders. Look for high-impact stories that drive progress on issues that matter based on research. You may support worthy issues, but if they fail to address the top priorities for your key stakeholders, it may fall on deaf ears.
Select stories that align with business objectives AND appeal to a broad audience. Select stories that are not only strategically aligned with the business, but also focus on topics that are relatable to the audience. Look for stories that address needs that are broadly relevant to extend the reach of your efforts.
Be transparent. Consider highlighting stories that acknowledge areas with room for growth to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. Transparency and credibility are essential to successful CR initiatives.
Increase the impact of your CR efforts by taking these insights into account. Curious about how you can maximize your CR efforts? We’re here to help.
This article was originally published on The Buzz Bin.
Katie Padilla, MA is a director at FoodMinds, in our Washington, DC office and Julie McCraken is a senior director at Padilla, in our Richmond office