Many companies try to improve their image by communicating their involvement in socially responsible activities. This often arouses scepticism rather than achieving the intended goal.
In this series, we explore ways to successfully manage the predicament.
Join us on Tuesday 16 November 2021 at 2pm (GMT) for a webinar panel of speakers comparing real-life experiences on the challenges of building trust with their audiences when communicating CSR.
Managing the paradox
In post 5. ‘True engagement’ we turned our attention to the importance of stakeholders for communicating authentically on corporate citizenship. We will now bring to a close our series with our main takeouts.
There are two fundamental challenges to overcome when dealing with the paradox of communicating CSR:
- Build trust with the various stakeholders who, in their different contexts, interact with the company and evaluate its communication on corporate citizenship.
- Ensure that what is communicated does not just make the company look good, but is based on authentic values, beliefs, and practices.
To succeed on both fronts, the communications team must understand the links between corporate citizenship, business strategy and stakeholders. At the same time, the sustainability team should recognise the growing strategic significance of the communication of corporate citizenship to the company’s reputation, license to operate and long-term profitability.
Put simply, companies must integrate the communication of corporate citizenship with their business management functions.
Thinking holistically about the company’s corporate citizenship and fully implementing the company’s values throughout the business model are necessary components of an effective communication strategy. To overcome the widespread scepticism, communication on social and environmental issues must be linked to multiple-bottom line reporting.
Only by fully incorporating corporate citizenship can the message have the necessary degree of authenticity, transparency and reality that will cancel the paradox and win over hearts and minds.
Register to attend or CSR Panel on Tuesday 16 November 2021 at 2pm (GMT). A panel of speakers from FleishmanHillard, TotalEnergies, Hargreaves Lansdown, and EY will be comparing real-life experiences on the challenges of building trust with their audiences when communicating CSR.
Richard Costa is Director and Head of Corporate Reporting at Ensemble Studio.
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November 20, 2023
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