Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is standard practice at many companies. From environmental issues, human rights, ethical business practices or donating money and time directly to nonprofit organizations, they see it as their duty to contribute to the wellbeing of society.
While we don’t recommend creating a CSR program for the sole purpose of publicity, PR can be a powerful tool for communicating the company’s work and its progress towards positive change. The role of PR is to ensure all stakeholders are privy to the brand’s commitment to CSR.
Timing and messaging are two major factors in executing a successful campaign. The degree to which organizations achieve a more positive image through socially responsible programs depends on how they engage with the public.
When it comes to corporate messaging, it helps to remember that a good story makes you think, but a compelling story makes you feel. When communicating CSR initiatives, the goal is to pull the audience in and make them feel something.
6 Ways to Make Your CSR Narrative Stand Out
1. Keep it Simple
Narratives should be straightforward and easy to follow. Don’t muddy the story with too many technicalities, hard-to-understand explanations and industry speak. Keeping it simple is also a good tip for avoiding jargon.
2. Make it Personal
Spend more time on the “why” and less on the “what.” Lead the story with why your brand is capable to tackle this issue and why you believe your initiative will make an impact. What is the motivation behind it all?
3. Embrace Conflict
A story without conflict is boring. Reveal obstacles that were overcome, or challenges faced along the way. Talking about the difficulties and how they were resolved helps make the story relatable and more credible.
4. Spill Important Details
What are the memorable details that bring your story to life? A story with a plot is more interesting than a corporate fact sheet.
5. Make it Newsworthy
Focus on what ties your story to current trends and events. Is there a local hook? Is there a human-interest angle? Perhaps there is impressive data that backs up claims or drives home the significance of the story.
6. Use Video
Video is outpacing all other forms of media as the preferred way to consume information. When done right, it can be engaging, attention-grabbing and evoke emotion. Consider using video as one of the vehicles to communicate your story.
Businesses that have built brands synonymous with “giving back” understand that it’s more than supporting a worthwhile cause. It’s about linking CSR to the broader business platform and communicating a clear mission with concrete and measurable goals while communicating those elements in the right way.