5 Tips to promote your CSR activities
Has your organisation created a CSR strategy, is it contributing to sustainable development, has a motivated team aligned with its values, promotes social actions, but still, has not been promoting its 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 the funding of social projects sounds like bragging. Here is a quick guide on how to start promoting your CSR activities without looking arrogant.
#1 Choose the right people for the job
Does your team have a professional dedicated exclusively to publicising the CSR projects? Your organisation must allocate part of its attention and, consequently, of its budget to the communication field. Having a specialised and prepared team leading these projects will make a massive difference in 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
Every promotion needs proper planning, and this is no different when it comes to promoting your CSR projects! Before publishing about your social actions, you need to create a work schedule, which contains the organisation’s objectives concerning communication: what type of content will be created, the dates when the productions will be made and how they will be broadcast to your audience. It is also interesting that the professionals involved in 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 is your audience and the message you want to put out there. Here are some key questions you should try to answer 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 society or the environment?
#3 Communicate in several channels
Usually, the first step is to write a press release about your CSR projects and send it out to external stakeholders such as journalists, NGOs, local authorities, and politicians. This piece of communication can be spread through newsletters, reports, meetings, and the organisation’s website. In addition to traditional vehicles, your company must also be present on social media. Pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn make your brand closer to your audience. In this way, the dialogue with people who are interested in your organisation’s work becomes more natural, and the solution to possible problems, faster. 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 message is inclusive and accessible to all
Are your activities actually reaching as many people as possible? Small changes in the way you post something on social media, in addition to showing that your company cares about the inclusion of people with disabilities, for example, will make your message reach a much larger audience, which is often overlooked. 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 social action
An excellent way to show that your company is engaged in a particular action is to relate it directly to the project. Try to find a cause that really motivates your team and work with the idea continuously. Brands that demonstrate transparency and genuine support for a cause can gain loyal followers and lawyers for the company.
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 we mentioned above can help you when telling your story and create a deeper connection with your stakeholders.