Having a corporate consciousness with genuine integrity is becoming increasingly important.
Customers and employees alike want to see much more evidence than a bit of box ticking – and much has been written about the scrutiny, from millennials in particular, when it comes to assessing corporate credentials. Grin and grip photographs or a lunchtime spent painting a fence certainly won’t cut the mustard. CSR, corporate social responsibility, is exactly that – a responsibility.
Ethical sourcing, sustainability, lowering carbon footprints etc are all key, of course, but supporting community initiatives is an area that I feel can deliver results in a whole manner of ways.
My new agency One Black Bear has been doing great things for St Basil’s for a number of years. So along with my CIPR Midlands’ colleague Rachel Owen, we are now hoping to promote best practice for community activities with a big focus on St Basil’s.
Our first initiative is going to be a CSR event for Birmingham businesses which will endeavour to ask businesses – and PR practitioners especially – how their CSR stacks up. And indeed, what sort of city do we want to live and/or work in?
St Basil’s fundraising is headed by the charismatic Barrie Hodge. Of course encouraging significant financial donations is part of his role, but Barrie is also on a mission to educate businesses about how else they can help homeless people in Birmingham. For example, getting homeless people into work is a critical part of regaining control of their lives. Businesses can obviously make a meaningful contribution here in a whole host of ways. Work experience. Mentoring. Apprenticeships. Much more useful than a lunchtime painting a fence that in reality might have not really needed painting because some other company had done it not so long ago in a bid to team build whilst ‘doing good’.
We are planning an event on the evening of Thursday, 27th April (venue TBC but it will be central Birmingham) when Barrie will be speaking alongside other people who feel passionately about helping to make the city a better place, in a way that will genuinely pass the CSR litmus test – and engage customers and employees along the way. Win win win is the plan.
For more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org