A company’s efforts to do good in the world – its sense of corporate social responsibility – is a great source for engaging content. But these stories need to be presented with care.
Corporate social responsibility can sway consumers your direction.
A 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility study by Cone Communications reports that seven of ten Americans believe companies have a responsibility to try to improve issues not directly relevant to their everyday business.
The study found millennials are particularly keen on this – with three-out-of-four actually conducting their own online research to see if a company is being authentic about its efforts to take a stand.
It’s clear consumers want to know the brands they spend money with are doing something good for the world.
So tell them.
Your brand’s corporate social responsibility work is a perfect place to focus your content marketing.
This could be unrelated to the brand’s business: a volunteer event, for example. Or it could be about how the regular work being done is directly helping people.
It can be tricky.
Talking about yourself without feeling braggy is hard. You don’t want to come across as the opportunistic corporation that parachutes in during a crisis for cheap PR points.
It must be authentic in order to resonate with an audience. Which means you have to tell your story well, with some balance – showing people the positive impact of the work without being boastful.
Telling these stories is the type of work i.e. network does daily. We help you find the right angle for the right audience, then pull together the right production team to create it. This targeted approach humanizes a brand – and has the potential to connect with audiences in an authentic way, capable of driving engagement and improving business.
With all that in mind, here are five tips to help you start thinking about your corporate social responsibility efforts as a source for shareable content.
1. Look at the “why”
Demonstrating that you’re doing something good is a great start. But helping your audience understand the “why” – can be quite powerful.
It’s an opportunity to educate and inspire. It stretches the boundaries of “PR”. The more you can tell big stories – in personal ways (profiling the people or issues in focus) – the more relatable you – or your clients – become.
2. Always consider who is being helped
If you’re doing good, then someone is benefiting. Often times, those people can be great resources for telling your story. They’ll be invested, and can add a human face to the cause.
If it’s a cause (the environment, for example), consider how to connect it to the people whose lives it will improve.
3. What are you doing to go above and beyond?
Writing a check to a nonprofit is great – don’t stop doing that. But it’s not a naturally compelling story. Think of how many headlines you see about Company X giving dollars to an organization … and how many times you actually read it. Not often.
Try to show people how you’re doing more than that, to demonstrate you’re commitment to the cause. Again – the value here less about the ‘what’. It’s more about the ‘why’. It connects to the authenticity of your corporate social responsibility.
4. Make it personal
Explain the problem your effort is addressing, instead of just saying it’s “an issue that affects many people.” Give your audience a sense of the scope, the qualities that make it difficult to address.
5. Think about the audience you’re talking to – and let that drive how you tell the story
There are so many ways to put together a story now: a podcast series, a video, a blog post, direct to social shares, etc. Be careful in the selection of how you tell the stories you tell.
Where is your audience? Go to them, go where they are.
What are they most likely to share? A video? Something text-based? Something quick and snappy? Or deep and immersive? Produce that. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your content has to be one thing or another.
If you wouldn’t watch the story you want to tell as a video … do you really think anyone else would?
Need help turning your story idea into reality? i.e. network is here