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Corporate Responsibility: What We Can Learn From The CSR Awards
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Corporate Responsibility: What We Can Learn From The CSR Awards - Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: What We Can Learn From The CSR Awards

Executive Leadership Articles

Corporate Responsibility: What We Can Learn From The CSR Awards

This past March, PR News announced its spring CSR award winners, a healthy list of more than 150 winners and honorable mentions in 30 categories. It’s true that a publication such as PR News has a specific slant on the topic of CSR (are awards presented to the best examples of CSR or the best examples of marketing CSR?), but a few clicks on award-winning names make it difficult not to be impressed nevertheless. There’s a lot of good being done and it deserves recognition, wherever the motivation is coming from. We recommend a deep dive into the category winners--it will make you feel good about the direction in which American business is headed--but as an introduction, here are three things we can learn from the list of winners.

1. There are a lot of ways to practice CSR.
Some of the award categories are specifically PR/marketing/communications related, but most of them seem to be aimed right at CSR itself, and if you thought good CSR was merely about work-life balance or using LED lights in the office, take a look at the winner in the Workplace Innovation category, MasterCard’s Girls4Tech program. Or the Media Relations winner, Cigna’s initiative to fight the U.S. opioid epidemic. There’s a lot of good being done by major for-profit corporations in very specific areas. The world is a big, needy place, and these companies are reaching into the broadest canyons and smallest crevices of concern.

2. You don’t have to be a B Corp to make big differences.
We didn’t look up all 150 of the PR News honorees, but we looked up nearly a third of them, and very few are listed as B Corporations. As we’ve explored recently, the certification stamp on a website or product carries a lot of heft with consumers, but you don’t have to pass B Corp’s specific muster in order to be socially responsible. In fact, the evidence here is overwhelming: some of the best work in CSR is done by companies who aren’t B Lab certified, and this is a huge encouragement. Supermarket chain Food Lion received two awards (including a Hall of Fame win) and honorable mention in eight other categories, making it one of the most decorated companies on this year’s list, and it is not a certified B Corp. Doing good doesn’t require third-party validation.

3. It doesn’t hurt to let others know what you’re up to.
Naturally, a PR publication like PR News is going to play up the marketing and communications angle, and while the case can be made that it’s better not to let your right hand know what your left hand is doing in matters of charity, it can also be made that your customers and clients want to know what kind of good you’re up to. That fine line between boasting and sharing can be walked, as evidenced by the honorees’ annual reports, social media campaigns, and media relations strategies. It seems a real challenge to look at the work these corporations are doing and not feel good about them. Anti-bullying initiatives, children's’ reading initiatives, and military veterans’ independent living efforts are all worthy, important CSR programs, and people should know about them.

It’s been a rough year in certain industries for public relations and customer service, but if nothing else, a close look at CSR awards such as these serves as a positive reminder that not there is a lot of good work being done with the money we pay for goods and services.

Reference link:
http://www.prnewsonline.com/CSR-winners-2017

 

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Corporate Responsibility: What We Can Learn From The CSR Awards - Executive Leadership Articles

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