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4 Ways CSR Communicators Can Demonstrate Proof of Positive Social Impact & Avoid Skepticism from the Responsible Consumer

Recent research shows that nearly two-thirds of Millennials and Generation Zers expressed a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something. However, additional research tells us that more than half of global consumers are skeptical of brands’ corporate responsibility claims.

So, in a socially responsible nutshell, that means the fate of whether brands fly or die with their customer base depends on both 1) truly effecting social change through CSR efforts and, just as critical, 2) proving this social impact is actually taking place.

Enter the evolving role of the CSR communicator to reframe the “good corporate citizen” message beyond philanthropic giving and begin demonstrating to the growing responsible consumer base how corporate efforts are undeniably making a difference.

A great example of demonstrating proof and value in giving is Walmart. When they report on their efforts to fight hunger, they don’t just talk about how much money they’ve donated to their grant partners; they talk about how many meals they’ve provided, how many communities they’ve served and how many of their associates have volunteered their own time to give back. They also showcase their expertise as the largest grocer through unique donations, such as refrigerator food trucks to food banks and food bank makeovers to help hunger organizations be more efficient and sustainable.

It’s time for communicators to shift their CSR reporting from a reputation building strategy to something more tangible and in-turn far more powerful…and believable.

Here are four ways to make your CSR communications stick:

1. Use storytelling to bring it life – Personal impact examples transform CSR reporting from stories about dollars to stories about people. Showcase how an individual or a group of individuals benefitted from your CSR efforts to make the story personal for your stakeholders.

2. Tie relevance to responsibility – CSR should be good for business and good for our society. Companies that do it well are able to illustrate real shared value by showcasing how their company assets and expertise help to inform their giving efforts.

3. React in a charitable way – When a company uses its expertise to assist to a crisis in real-time, communicators must seize this moment to crystalize the message not just that the company is helping, but why it is them that should be helping because of its particular set of skills, infrastructure or assets.

4. Quantify results beyond money – Companies should show CSR impact through measurable results that go beyond dollars donated. A $1 million grant sounds impressive but knowing that $1 million provided 10 million meals for families in need is much more powerful.

Are you looking to amplify your company’s CSR efforts? We have the experience to help amplify your story and bring it to life.