Any CSR advocate will acknowledge the fine line between a sales, marketing, or PR event and a community engagement event. Yes, at times, they overlap. Yet they can also be completely opposite, pending the event’s goals and how it was promoted. So, who cares? What’s the point? Well, companies with a corporate responsibility policy care. Read more about Community Engagement[…]
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Today I watched Casey Gerald’s speech to the Harvard Business School class of 2014. His message touched on the commitment one makes to transform their life, their world. His message was simple; We’ve got more work to do. His call to action – We’ve got more work to do – was a combination of Dr. Read more about Casey Gerald; We’ve Got More Work To Do[…]
Companies large and small, public and private, can be very productive when implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. Yet CSR success stems from communicating those efforts and writing a CSR report.
The good news is the report can be flexible and unique, just like the businesses they represent. Ultimately the reports should express the corporate values, vision and personality.
While customizable, quality and structure must not be lacking. The trick is to remember that a successful CSR report is, at its most basic level, about a company’s social and environmental impact.
Can small-to-medium-size companies experience the same success as large companies? Yes.
Here are seven steps to writing a successful CSR report. […]
Companies that embrace a socially responsible management approach – showing equal concern for people, the planet, and profits – succeed.
The approach is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and it is an umbrella term with up to 80 elements, the most common being: corporate philanthropy, cause marketing, sustainability, supplier diversity, community engagement, and waste management.
For years, large companies have embraced CSR by sharing resources, supporting various communities and communicating values.
The good news is that the same principles apply to small and medium size companies, which they should embrace too.
Today, many consumers are interested in doing business with companies that reflect more than focusing on a single bottom line. In fact, 51% of consumers said they prefer to reward responsible companies with their business, and 53% said they would pay a premium (10%) for products from a socially responsible company.
Other benefits include: reducing costs, creating brand differentiation, strengthening community ties, innovating new products and methods. Plus, CSR attracts investors while limiting risks and addressing concerns of internal and external communities.
Yet embracing CSR eludes many business leaders so get you started here are seven steps to achieving CSR success.
Here are 7 steps to help small to medium size companies adapt this management approach. […]
Recently I read a FastCompany article titled, 10 Ways Today’s Purpose-Driven Brands Can Bring Their Core Values To Life. The Take Away: Create a Purpose-Driven Brand Today’s brand must live and breathe through its core values in order to survive. Purpose is king, and there’s no turning back. To help brands communicate their core values the Read more about Purpose-Driven Brands[…]
Growth and development, what’s it all about?
Recently I attended a 2-day real estate summit in Denver hosted by PEMCO Limited, and I’m still feeling high from the positive energy generated by the organizers, speakers, and attendees.
The attendees were some of the brightest “boots on the ground” within the real estate and mortgage default industry. In essence they are the conduit between lenders and homeowners, and their goal is to help both communities successfully process short sales, evictions, property preservation, and sales.
A very difficult job
They’ve heard every unimaginable, heartbreaking story from parents and children being evicted. They’ve wondered the purpose of vandals, scrap thieves, and squatters who completely trash a once beautiful home. They’ve cried when confronted with abandoned animals that are starving or dead.
In many ways they are glorified property managers who mow lawns, turn on/off utilities, and negotiate exuberant upfront municipalities fees; fees that are now the norm. Cities, like Oakland, charge $560 to register a defaulted home; or $100 penalty if an abandoned property’s grass is higher than six inches; or (my favorite) the nearly $800 charge for a Sewer Lateral Certification. What the heck is that ???
People outside of the industry give these real estate professionals flack for making money from downtrodden homeowners, but they paid the price with divorce, heart problems, stokes, hypertension, weight gain. In fact, some have been robbed, rapes or killed while inspecting abandoned property.
From the outside, life looks great, but …
Within five years, the mortgage default industry drastically changed. Business was lost when clients like Countrywide merged with another bank or closed altogether. Services like Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) were outsourced to India. Competition tightened when brokers with better connections opened multiple offices. Client fees soared while commission rates dropped.
Like other business leaders they too ponder the universal struggle of balancing work and life while growing and developing their business. To stay in business they had to stay abreast of trends, continuously prospect for new business, and diversify their services.
The successful secret weapon: Community Engagement.
I felt honored to speak at PEMCO’s Brokers Summit. Their request: introduce brokers to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Basically, they asked me to share community engagement ideas, tips, and trends that could help brokers grow and develop their business.
The request is more challenging than most anticipate because many small to medium size companies, like real estate brokers, are uncomfortable with leveraging and branding their community engagement efforts.
Arguments include: I feel guilty pointing the spotlight on my community efforts, looks like I’m bragging; or I’m uncomfortable leveraging business and community engagement; or it’ll take up too much time and energy to put an unproven project on my plate.
Underlying all arguments is the practice of a single bottom line – money. Now there I was, asking them to create a triple bottom line – people, the planet and profits. It seemed like an oxymoron. Put people and the planet first and profits will follow. Hum, a tough sell.
The point is …
Large, global companies within every business sector embrace community engagement. Why? Because they know it pays to be good. Strengthen leads. Build loyalty. Create positive media opportunities. Reduce cost. Generate revenue. And, it’s the ultimate marketing tool – brand good values.
Creating growth and development
Here’s the pitch: Any person who has a pulse on your company is the lifeblood of your company. Employees, clients, prospects, suppliers, media, trade associations etc. – they are communities of people who help develop and grow the business.
As my good friend, Lee, likes to say, “A happy wife is a happy life.” In essence, to grow and develop your business, make your people happy.
How does it work?
Why embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Because it makes me happy. Helping companies create sustainable love for their brand by connecting them with communities is enjoyable. Being part of a supportive team that works to create a better planet is humbling. And, exploring ways to communicate CSR is creative. Best of all … It’s priceless Read more about CSR Makes Me Happy[…]
Here’s the focus: Creating more efficient, effective, innovative and sustainable companies. So this morning I was excited to read FastCompany’s article on green consumers, The Uneven Geography Of Consumers Who Will Buy A Green Product. Could this tidbit of proof help corporate leaders embrace CSR? … Well, kind of. […]
Just read a note from my favorite heretic, Pascal Finette, who talked about culture being a living organism. It’s something you embody, not something you write down, put on a poster and hope will permeate through osmosis. I couldn’t agree more. Take for instance TNG Real Estate, a company with three offices in Orange County Read more about CSR, a living organism[…]