Why Public Relations and CSR should go hand in hand
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is no longer something just done by large corporates to please investors. In fact, a surprising number of SME businesses, particularly those that sell into the construction and social housing sector, are looking at how they can have a great impact on the community, environment and society in general by putting their focus on CSR.
I’ve recently been impressed by how committed some of our clients are in seeking out new CSR opportunities in which they can get involved at both a corporate level and employee level. And there are so many reasons why CSR is good for a business. First of all, if a business is looking to work with the public sector or with some private developers, then it needs to be able to demonstrate that it gives something back. In the majority of procurement processes, there are questions about what CSR activities a company carries out and what impact this has had. Without evidence of CSR activities that the company has carried out in its local community, or on a national or international level, then this could be an area where a company misses out on lucrative tender opportunities.
When CSR activities are carried out regularly, they became an integrated part of a company’s PR campaign. This means we can maximise on publicity for activities, whether that be an ‘in the community’ day, a restoration project, health and well-being event or supporting young people or charities. The key element of this is that it is backed up by a dedicated PR and social media campaign, through local, regional or trade press. This also means we are creating content, images and videos that can also be used as evidence in procurement exercises.
CSR has also proven to be good for Mental health. With 2020 such a difficult year for many people and as the lockdown continues, mental health should be given priority by many companies. Feeling part of a team and giving back to a community or sustainability project has been proven to have a major impact on mental health. Although it may be a little more difficult this year with COVID restrictions, many companies are looking at ways they can carry out socially distanced activities, such as treeplanting or community gardening, where employees can be actively involved in giving something back and getting the satisfaction in doing good works in the community or for the environment.
As if you needed more reasons to get involved in CSR, it also helps to boost morale and motivation. With many teams working remotely at the moment, when members of staff can work together on a positive activity with a common goal, it promotes feelings of job satisfaction and keeps employees engaged, again enhancing morale and job satisfaction. This can have an impact on the quality of service that they provide to customers, which can make a huge difference.
Another great benefit of CSR is that it provides excellent newsworthy stories. The media are far more likely to pick up on positive good news stories like these, rather than sales stories. It can create a feel-good factor with other companies, who may look favourably on them should they require services in the future.
For more information on how we could maximise your CSR potential. Or if you are looking to embark on a CSR programme, but need some fresh ideas and inspiration, please contact our PR and social media team on 0114 349 5341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dragonfly PR is a Sheffield-based PR and digital marketing agency that specialises in media relations, content marketing and organic SEO for construction, manufacturing and food companies.