Corporate Social Responsibility in its many guises covers a very broad spectrum of truly great business practice as well as some horrendous horror stories.

On Thursday, 11th May, the CIPR and PRCA are joining forces and holding an event to debate the communications’ professional’s role in maximising CSR from the perspective of all stakeholders. Chaired by Midlands Insider editor Kurt Jacobs, speakers include Barrie Hodge – head of fundraising and communications for St Basils, Andy Holding – corporate responsibility manager at Birmingham Airport and Jonathan Fortnam – partner at Pinsent Masons.

We want to examine:

  • Why do organisations do CSR, really?
  • How do they measure its success?
  • How to engage customers, employees and shareholders alike.

Scenarios that have been mooted in planning this session range from a slightly irritating case of the PR team being brought in at the last minute to get coverage for a ‘grin & grip’ giant cheque presentation to the somewhat more challenging request to secure a knighthood for the CEO.

Of course, charities need money and no fundraiser is going to turn down the proceeds from a cake sale or a day of wearing comedy clothing. However, this is really only tip of the proverbial iceberg. CSR can deliver so much more. Critically, an organisation’s CSR needs to be relevant and have a good cultural fit.

We are expecting some lively discussion!

To register for this free event on Thursday, 11th May, 6pm to 8pm, at Malmaison in Birmingham, please visit here – thank you.

More about the speakers:

Barrie Hodge – Head of Fundraising and Communications St Basils

Barrie has worked with St Basils for the last two years. Prior to that, he’s spent most of his career working in commercial radio, producing shows across the UK. He has a vast amount of experience in communications and his passion is developing partnerships to tackle the increasing crisis of homelessness in the region.

Andy Holding – Corporate Responsibility Manager Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport has one of the largest community impacts of any UK airport, with tens of thousands of people living beneath its flightpaths. For more than 20 years, Andy has been closely involved in developing a wide-ranging CSR agenda, addressing issues surrounding environmental impact, education, employment and community investment. For him the CSR challenge is about maximising the economic and social benefits of aviation while minimising its impact on local communities and the environment – and all in a highly visible setting where stakeholders are many and everyone has a view.

Jonathan Fortnam – Partner Pinsent Masons

Jonathan is based in Birmingham and in 2008 was the vision behind ‘Starfish’, Pincent Masons’ corporate responsibility programme which is focused throughout its international network on ‘Inspiring Young Lives’. Starfish was BITC’s 2009 National Example of Excellence in Education and has in the last nine years been actively engaged in a variety of activities ranging from reading support in local schools to supporting a programme to get more girls in the Rajasthan state of India into school.

Jonathan’s current corporate responsibility interests are around what it means to be a responsible business of purpose to each of its stakeholder groups.