Few articles ago, we showed you different successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns as well as some other tips to achieve that great level of success in your campaigns for your company or brand. However, the truth of the matter is, we see a lot more mistakes than correct actions when it comes to corporate sustainability communications and campaigns. Today, we have brought for you a list of 4 common mistakes your company might be making with its CSR communications and how to fix them.
There is a term for the case where your communication message is not backed up or supported by the actions of other departments: “greenwashing.” When a communication team runs around telling stories about the great things a company does about environment and the planet without really be doing anything real, bad things can happen. In those cases, all department heads need to be engaged and get really deep into the corporate CSR strategy, and communications should reflect only these jointly decided activities.
When something good is happening and you want to keep it secret
Maybe you do not think about this, but most of times when you run into sustainability professionals and specialists, you probably hear a lot of great and exciting stories about the projects they are working on. However, you can ask them why you have not heard about their CSR initiatives yet, and they will answer something like “Oh, it is not public yet.” What you should consider and understand the need to keep things under a kind of secret until you have everything worked out, but some of these projects have been going on for years. So, do not be one of those guys. It is good idea to get out there and tell your story. People out there will appreciate the transparency. Even if it is not perfect, it is always good to start showing what your company is capable of in terms of CSR.
You do not have idea of how many CSR communications focus on the positive; that is probably great, however, it is also important to be honest when things are not going the way you always wanted. Try reporting your activities, good or bad results, inform the people, otherwise, it is hard to believe you about the good things.
We recommend you to be brave and forget about being afraid to share bad news. People, customers and society will probably appreciate your diligence and your honesty. Nobody said that all this process about CSR was going to be easy. We know it will be hard, and you might not always meet your targets, but people want to hear about the process anyway. Report your accomplishments and negative aspects through media; being honest will further your overall communications goals and people will celebrate with you when you do something really great.
Playing defense rather than offense
Some companies are proactive about CSR strategies. You can find it on their website, and in all the outward communications channels. The secrecy which works so well for product launches is lost on the public when it comes to CSR communications. Communicate openly and honestly, and you will not need a defense quite as often.