As Public Relations specialists and businesses welcome the new year, it’s important to consider the trends and movements that are expected in communications.
A popular buzzword we’ve been seeing in the past few years is “Purpose”. Organizations finding their purpose by considering Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles when defining their business strategy or core values isn’t a new concept, but this is still a trend that won’t be leaving anytime soon.
In addition to finding a purpose, ensuring this purpose is authentic to your business is increasingly important. In the age of new media, audiences expect transparency and honesty from brands and can easily uncover truths if they assume something is not right.
Therefore, having an authentic purpose is crucial. But how can this be achieved?
You may want to ground your business through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for multiple reasons. This could be to increase employee satisfaction, retain loyal customers, or simply because it’s the right thing to do. But before rushing to the public to communicate your CSR efforts, there are a few things to consider.
Here are a few suggestions to ensure your business is practicing social responsibility in the most effective way possible.
It is important to determine a purpose and core values that truly make sense for your business. Purpose driven initiatives should not be planned for engaging audiences or simply “checking a box”. Be authentic in your purpose and choose a focus that aligns with your true goals and values as an organization.
It is easy to create blogs, press releases, or campaigns surrounding a specific initiative, but the only way these efforts will create lasting impact is if a brand is consistent and transparent.
Fulfill Your Purpose Internally
Before you venture out to help address external ESG issues, make sure you’re taking care of your internal environment. A few examples of this would be ensuring your employees are being treated well, ensuring your business practices are environmentally friendly, and having your leadership team actively engage with all levels of employment. This will lay the foundation of creating a team that won’t be fatigued or frustrated by participating in external initiatives.
Reconsider Your CSR Communication Strategy
Bringing us back to the point that engaging in corporate responsibility efforts is sometimes just the ‘right thing to do’, it is important to ensure that you are also remaining authentic when communicating your CSR initiatives.
Social responsibility gives businesses a competitive edge, especially among millennial and Gen Z audiences, and it is important to communicate these stories in the right way. CSR initiatives do not always have to be shared with flashy announcements or extensive campaigns, it all depends on being able to appropriately evaluate which one of your stakeholders will find the information useful. Try to remain humble in your communications and let your authenticity speak for itself.
Determining your brand’s purpose is a crucial step in your business’s journey but maintaining an authentic purpose is an ongoing effort. Revisit your CSR strategy to make sure your initiatives are always aligning with your values.
Make sure you’re asking yourself “Why are we doing this?”, “Why do we care?”, “Why does our audience care?”.
Durrell Communications can help you find your business purpose and achieve your goals in 2023 whether it be through CSR initiatives, brand reputation or media engagement. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today!