Corporate social responsibility communication has a strong relationship to value. Do it right and you can create and preserve value. Do it badly and you can destroy value, or simply leave value on the table.
Yet, CSR communications are seldom looked at strategically, and almost never from the perspective of value creation or preservation.
Let’s take a look at 11 common mistakes that I’ve come across over the past couple of decades of working in the space where business meets society.
These mistakes cost shareholder value and too often result in missed opportunities for companies and stakeholders.
We’ve all seen it: Glowing corporate communications that would make you think the company was up for sainthood. Yet, when you get behind the glitter, there isn’t much there.
Don’t oversell what you are doing, or talk about results you “expect” or haven’t achieved yet.
Trust me, all of your constituencies will appreciate candor and clarity.
Your company or project isn’t expected to change the world through CSR. Don’t use language that suggests you might or, worse yet, that you are changing it.
Language that communicates genuine effort and real results is your most effective message.
2. Not sharing credit
Amazingly, you can read some CSR communications and think that no one outside the company did anything to make the project successful–that the company did it all.
Share the credit. Liberally. It is way better in every way (and probably way more honest too).
As much as possible in your communications, acknowledge the work of all who are associated with the project or work....
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