Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Recap: Building a Corporate Social Responsibility Program

The following is a summary of lessons learned and take-aways from the Ft. Worth PRSA June 2010 program, Building a Corporate Social Responsibility Program, with Laura K. Moore, Vice President - Global Communications, Kimberly-Clark Corporation:

What is strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
  • Aligning your corporate strategy with your business strategy
  • Defining the positive impact you aim to make based on what your company is good at
  • An understanding that doing good can be good for business
Why is CSR important?
  • Growing environmental concerns
  • Companies moving from seeing CSR as less of an obligation to more of a business opportunity
  • Internet enables people to scrutinize corporate behavior
  • Increased expectations of companies to contribute
  • Corporate reputations bruised post-recession
  • Millennial expectations (the connected generation)
CSR goes beyond philanthropy, this is about corporate citizenship.

How the company treats:
  • Community
  • Suppliers
  • Government
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Environment
Your CSR strategy has to be lived from the inside out.
  • Be it. Do it. Say it.
A cohesive CSR strategy ensures all key elements of the organization work together.
  • Employee contributions + Brand Cause Marketing + Corporate Giving = Greater Impact, More Recognition
Corporate trust is a key driver of choice and is currently seriously challenged.

* When people trust a company they:
  • Will pay more
  • Will recommend it to others
Engagement increases when an employee is satisfied with the company's CSR initiatives. Employees need to be asking themselves, "What do we stand for?"

Laura Moore pulled the curtain back a little bit on Kimberly-Clark's CSR strategy and plans to move forward. She stated that Kimberly-Clark Corporate Goal: Be responsible stewards of the environment and positive contributors to our community.

Kimberly-Clark has the global assets and framework, however Moore explained that she doesn't have the Ta-Da example from the corporation yet since it is still a work in progress.
(Photo: Kimberly-Clark Sustainability Report)

A CSR Enterprise Signature Project needs to:
  • be based in research;
  • have a defined focus to be successful;
  • leverage brands for focus in relevant areas and expertise from with organization; and
  • be supported and endorsed by whole organization.
What would you add? What do you see as necessary components, objectives, or concepts for a successful CSR program? The comments are yours.
Special thanks to Corey Lark, AE at Open Channels Group for providing feedback and notes on the June program for the chapter.

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