Has your organisation created a CSR strategy?
Is it contributing to sustainable development? Has a motivated team aligned with its values and promotes social actions? But still, are you struggling to promote your projects? Without a doubt, attaching some publicity to your strategy can be a tricky business. Some organisations might feel like their actions are not big enough to gain recognition. Some others can feel like promoting social projects sounds like bragging. No need to tear your hair out about it.
We’ve come up with a quick guide on how to start promoting your CSR activities without looking arrogant.
#1 Choose the right people for the CSR activities management
Does your team have a professional dedicated exclusively to publicising the CSR projects? Your organisation must allocate part of its attention and its budget to the communication field. Having a dedicated team to lead these projects is important. It will change how your audience will interact with your brand and the message you want to promote. Keep in mind that this team member must be communicative, creative and prepared to deal with your organisation’s audience.
#2 Create a strategic planning for your CSR activities
Every promotion needs proper planning. This is no different when it comes to promoting your CSR projects. Before promoting your social actions, create a work schedule with the organisation’s objectives. What type of content will be created? When will the productions be made? How will they be broadcast to your audience? Professionals involved at this stage (the one mentioned above together with their team) already start thinking about exclusive content for each communication channel: traditional media, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
This is also the moment when you will decide who your audience is and the message you want to put out there. So keep these questions in mind when creating your CSR communication planning: What are the reasons your organisation is funding this project? Is this initiative relevant to your stakeholders? How is this project helping the society or the environment?
#3 Communicate the CSR activities in several channels
Whether it is via press releases, external stakeholders such as journalists, NGOs, local authorities, and politicians, communication is key. There are numerous channels through which you can spread the news: newsletters, reports, meetings, and the organisation’s website. In addition to traditional formats, your company must also be present on social media. Pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn make your brand closer to your audience. It is then easier for you to build a dialogue with people who are interested in your organisation’s work. It can also make it easier to solve problems. Whenever possible, inform your followers about your projects. People must remember that your organisation has continuous social practices and is operating at all times. It is not enough to show support only for specific causes, which are “on the rise”. Your campaigns need to convince the community that the brand is, in fact, engaged in a social issue and really cares about the action.
#4 Make sure your CSR activity message is inclusive and accessible to all
Are your activities actually reaching as many people as possible? Small changes on how you post something on social media will make your message reach a much larger audience. A simple way to make your message more inclusive is to include images descriptions so that screen-readers can describe the image for those who are blind. Including captioning on videos is also a great way to spread your message for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Also, keep in mind to communicate with all people who follow your work, so they feel connected to the social project you are promoting. Through animations, polls, gifs, videos, or photos, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, answer the questions and talk to your followers. The more interaction, the higher the reach of your post. And the better your relationship with your audience.
#5 Associate your brand with a specific CSR activity
An excellent way to show that you engage with a action is to link it to the project. Find a cause that motivates your team. There is a benefit to show transparency and genuine support for a cause: gain loyal followers and ambassadors.
The example of McHappyDay
McHappy Day, from the Ronald Institute, is an excellent example of associating the brand with social action. In addition to the name, which is a reference to the company, the brand uses one of its main products during the campaign. McDonald’s allocates sales (tax deductions) from Big Macs sold on a specific day to entities that work with children and teenagers battling cancer. The campaign has been running this project since 1977 and is known worldwide.
Indeed, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to promoting CSR projects. It might take many attempts to win over your audience with initiatives before anyone notices it. But there is no doubt that these tips can help you when telling your story and create a deeper connection with your stakeholders.