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Knowledge

Would you turn down a paying client because they didn’t give back?

By Diane Eichler, President/Founder, Decibel Blue, a public engagement agency

 

I assure you it’s not quite as touchy feely as it sounds.

As a public engagement agency, it’s Decibel Blue’s job to use every proven tool available to achieve growth and high return on investment. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been proven over and over again to be an effective investment for companies looking for growth, and our official policy of turning down clients who don’t give back is an extension of wanting to do the best work possible.

Integrating a strong CSR program elevates a brand’s reputation. Making a positive impact in the community creates shared value from a consumer and internal corporate perspective; thus a direct, positive correlation is made with these audiences and stakeholders to brand loyalty.

We prefer that you give back like Ghandi, for your love of others, but if you do it like Gordon Gecko, for your love of money, that’s a step in the right direction. Either way, having a robust and effective give back program is absolutely critical to your success.

If you don’t have a program in place, we would love to help you get started with a few thoughts for 2018. Give your company one more advantage and raise the bar for your industry to support the community. 

Empathy

Let’s play devil’s advocate.

What type of person/company doesn’t think it’s important to help others?

And if that person/company has a crisis, what type of response will they have? Probably not empathetic and if you have followed the public responses of companies like Uber and United Airlines, you will notice their lack of empathy allowed for the media to control their narratives.

Shifting Priorities

Past CSR programs focused on easy, quick hit, in and out support of non-profits. Volunteer one day a year to paint a house. Sponsor a dinner to get a logo in the spotlight for a night.

2018 will continue to see efforts move toward measured outcomes. Purpose-driven engagement and social impact initiatives will see non-profits and companies working hand in hand over the course of multiple projects to achieve real impact.

Storytelling

You would be amazed how many companies are giving back in a big way but don’t tell anyone about it!

CSR will not just be about action but also about storytelling — effective storytelling through digital mediums. Technology is providing the world with a fantastic way to tell stories — with meaning and impact — in a way that will drive greater change and public and media support. The beauty of these new technologies is that we will begin impacting problems and challenges in society faster and at an individual level. In 2018, we expect to see another accelerated advance in digital CSR storytelling and actions that will drive real-time positive outcomes.

I hope you are ready to get out there and make a splash, and don’t underestimate your non-profit’s ability to work alongside you to brainstorm and implement unique programs!