easureable, credible results.
Whetherthrough independent third party certifications,awards, or reporting using trusted criteria; thepublic is skeptical of unsubstantiatedenvironmental claims, as are employees. In somecases it is easy to point to environmental impacts ² wildlife habitats set aside are visible examples within a community that a company and itsemployees can see for themselves. But in somecases it is harder because you are quantifying what did not happen ² energy saved, trees that were not cut down, water that was not used.
Engage stakeholders throughout the process.
Engaging people rather than speaking to them is afundamental change in how successfulcompanies must communicate with both internaland external audiences. Communicators muststand as staunch advocates for using new technologies and taking advantage of rather thanfearing the universal and free-flowing nature of the Internet and the various social media. The world of communications has changed, with therise of social media and citizen journalists who,despite the fact that they may or may not adhereto the same standards and practices (such asfact-checking) as professional journalists, havean increasing prevalence and influence.Companies that wish to build, maintain ordefend their reputations and brand equity haveno choice but to join the dialogue, bringing authenticity and transparency to theconversation.
ne of the key differences betweensustainability efforts today and theenvironmental efforts of the past is theemphasis on net (or multiple) gains.
Progressive companies have recognized the truepower of the stakeholder engagement and havemade the transition, revising their strategy fortraditional communications tools (including meetings, presentations, even media interviews and
Getting on the CSR Bandwagon:Strive for Real Integration
Communicators are in a key position to use their skills, networks and established credibility at alllevels within the company to assist in thedevelopment of the CSR program.
At the same time, it is important to recognize thatmany of the goals traditionally assigned to corporatecommunicators ± including culture change,stakeholder engagement and external relations ±can be accomplished by enhancing sustainabilityand corporate responsibility management across acompany.
In order to be an integral part of the companystrategy, the CSR program must be integrated asappropriate into the strategic imperatives identifiedto achieve the long term vision as well ascompatible with the conditions and circumstancesthat employees face in day-to-day operations.
A truly integrated CSR/green program requires theindividual buy-in and empowerment of everyone inthe company as well as changes in processes andprocedures. Communication is the key to bothsharing ideas and understanding and overcomingresistance to changes. Failure to communicate andlisten can result in passive (and sometime active)sabotage to your program.
In order to effectively engage stakeholders intoday¶s high-speed information world, corporatecommunications professionals must modify their strategies to effectively foster, encourage andfacilitate dialogue.
the Internet) not as vehicles to provide information,but as a forums for dialogue, seeing each as anunparalleled opportunity to tap into, and respond when appropriate, to what is being said about theirenterprise. To meet these challenges Corporatecommunications professionals can use their sametactical skills but must modify their strategiesrefining not only the content but also the structure