On the heels of Report on Business Corporate Knights’ latest Corporate Responsibility rankings of the S&P/TSX 60, we wanted to discuss how SMBs can establish their own corporate responsibility strategy and program, which is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix.
There are many ways SMBs practice good corporate citizenship without it being a daunting task. Here are some pointers from successful companies:
• Align with company values – Your corporate responsibility activities should align with the company’s core values.
• Develop a mission statement – This should be a statement that outlines what the company hopes to achieve through its corporate responsibility activities.
• Start small – Any successful corporate responsibility strategy requires consistent effort and commitment. Identity 1-3 activities the company and its employees can deliver given the business and resources.
• Engage employees – Include employees in the process. What activities would they be most interested in? Are there specific causes that matter to them? Depending on the culture and number of employees, the company may select one cause or organization to commit to. You may also want to develop a corporate responsibility committee comprised of 6-12 employees from across the organization. They act as corporate responsibility champions galvanizing support from the rest of the staff.
• Share – Leverage corporate responsibility successes for press releases, website content and for recruiting new staff. It signals to stakeholders that the company believes in being a good corporate citizen and for leveraging its success to help others.
Corporate Responsibility can be a powerful tool for enhancing the position of a company in its community. Whatever activities you choose, make sure it aligns with the organization’s values and brand, just as anything you do within the strategy / marketing / communications portfolio should.