Examples of CSR in PR communication
In our series of blogs aimed at understanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we have covered a range of aspects tied to it – from its definition, benefits and pitfalls, to how to write a robust CSR report and its relationship with marketing strategy. In today’s blog, we shall touch upon the relationship between CSR and PR communications, followed by some pertinent examples.
First up, let us differentiate between marketing and PR communication. Simply put, as most people know it, marketing involves selling a product or service and everything that goes into making it possible. PR communications, on the other hand, is primarily involved in boosting a company’s image and ensuring a good reputation.
While the marketing team will look for ways to communicate and promote the CSR effort of an impact organization, the PR team will focus on promoting the brand as an impact leader.
“The primary function of public relations is to ‘help tell the stories’ through sustainability reports, media pitching and publicity efforts, and program visibility internally and externally,” states a paper on ‘Using Public Relations for Corporate Social Responsibility’ presented in the University of Georgia.
The two may often overlap in the case of CSR campaigns. Both teams often work in tandem to achieve effective communication of the company’s CSR effort and boost brand image.
Bear in mind, marketing or PR communications are tools that can be leveraged to communicate your ‘good’ acts with the world. They are mediums and should not be treated as your company’s trumpet – let your actions speak. The emphasis should always be on the positive impact of the CSR initiative than on the publicity.
Below, we will share some examples to help you understand how CSR effort can be effectively merged with the PR strategy of your organization.
Consider this example, your company partners with an NGO engaged in the redevelopment of the residential area of West Java and increasing its green cover. You may mention this on your website and company page, your blog, and across various social media platforms to enhance goodwill. However, keep your tone humble and informative. You want to communicate your effort with the public and stakeholders, reflect your corporate ethics, and not just blatantly try to bring your company into the limelight.
Let us refer to a real-life example. Computer software giant Adobe uses its company blog to talk about a range of topics and engage its customers, stakeholders. The platform is also used to highlight the positive influence of its employees, its values, achievements, among others. This is a good way to talk about CSR efforts, inform various stakeholders about your activities, boost credibility and win trust.
One of the ways to go about combining CSR with PR strategy is to adopt ‘balanced reporting’ – use press releases and PR tools to expand the successes, innovations and positive impact created by your organization, however, be sure to back it by robust, results-focussed data and statistics.
Artemis Impact is a network of corporate, donors & non-profits. With our corporate enterprise solution, we aim to empower companies to build human-centered impact stories and create sustainable impact with their CSR programs & core business.