How to Become a CSR Champ

corporate social responsibility
CSR Champ
This is a blog post by Susan Smith of PromoDirect.

The rat race will never end and though victory is not in your hands, you do have the choice to become a social responsible entrepreneur, even as you strive for success. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer a ‘that too’ option. It’s an ‘especially that’ requisite and if taken seriously then it’s a great way to make your company distinct from your competitor’s.

According to the CSR Branding Survey, 2010, 55% of consumers are likely to choose a product that supports a cause rather than similar products in the market which don’t. However only 11% of had heard about CSR activities of any companies they did business with. This means that social responsibility is highly ranked on a consumer’s list of expectations, but not on that of companies’.

What can you do? Figure out what CSR strategy suits you, start implementing it and don’t look back!

One of the easiest ways would be to either align with a cause or an NGO supporting a cause. Host periodical events like fund-raisers or charity meets as then you get to invite your potential and present customers to participate, and in the process show them you have a caring side to your corporate personality.

You can integrate your CSR agenda into your daily corporate routine as well. A majority of those surveyed in the CSR Branding Survey said that treating the environment and the employees well are clear indicators that a company’s socially responsible in addition to being profit centric. Tiny acts can make a huge difference, for example using green products like recycled stationery in office or giving away eco-friendly promotional products as a part of promotions. A simple choice like using reusable tote bags instead of plastic bags to put in samples and give your clients, can show where your support lies.

Charity begins at home and for corporates it begins at office. Your employees can become your greatest assets if you treat them as men not machines. Simple acts of kindness like humane working hours, giving them a choice to work from home without compromising on deadlines, including them in major decisions involving the company, daycare facilities etc can win you loyalists within the company itself.

Sometimes, what words can’t express, gifts can. Promotional items can be imprinted with your CSR message or they can be your CSR message themselves. Leaving your employees with small, meaningful gifts on special occasions like promotional calendars on New Year’s Eve or distributing giveaways among the guests at your CSR events can give them that warm, fuzzy feeling that translates as popularity for your brand.