The Five Most Common CSR Myths And How You Can Avoid Them
Like most topics in the world today, there’s always a group or groups of people spreading wrong information. Sometimes it’s done on purpose and sometimes by accident, but either way, it can hurt an organization’s goals. We know that’s the last thing any of us want. That’s why we’ve sat down and collected the five most common CSR myths and how to avoid them.
1. Giving checks to charities is good enough
Doing good is more than just writing a check and handing it off, it’s vital in building trust with employees and customers alike. Research shows when there is a high level of trust in a company, it drives business performance by attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Simply put, people want the companies that they buy from to show sustainably in their campaigns. Along with these companies having these values, consumers also want them to get serious about marketing them in a socially responsible way.
2. Doing good is not what “real businesses” do.
First off, this doesn’t even make sense. I get that their might be this stereotype about “big business” not caring about the “little guy” but in reality, 64% of CEOs say that (CSR) is “core to their business”. A high level of trust makes employees more committed to staying with the company, partners are more willing to collaborate and investors are more prepared to entrust stewardship of their funding. 75% of millennials would actually take a pay cut to work for a responsible company.
3. CSR should only be about doing good; it should not be linked to business.
Now here’s the flip side of the previous point. While doing a strictly CSR-centric campaign on the side of your business is a good thing, you are not maximizing the full potential of the campaign. Like most things in business, you have to look at the return. What is this campaign going to do for my business? How will my actions help my company grow? Bottom line, a CSR campaign is not sustainable unless it provides a direct benefit to the company.
4. Anything that helps improves lives can be counted as CSR
Like we said, a CSR campaign is not sustainable unless it provides a direct benefit to the company and this applies to when you’re deciding what you want to give back to. If you’re a children’s clothing store, it may not make sense for you to donate to an organization focused on men’s health. You have to take a step back and look at your company’s values. Why do you think pet stores fund campaigns that benefit animals? Or why technology companies work to fund programs that educate others on their technology? Find a campaign that is directly linked to your business and its success and integrate it with your business.
5. CSR often opens a company to cynical criticism
With anything in business, there comes risk closely behind. Companies in the past have tried to take positions on subjects they don’t have a part in or used these positions in a way that completely misses the mark. I’m sure reading this you have a few already in your mind. While there is always that risk when running a CSR campaign, there is also a tremendous amount of reward when done properly. That’s why research and careful vetting is extremely important. Run the ad through focus groups, know everything you need to know about the cause you’re trying to advocate for. With careful preparation there’s no reason for your campaign to result in a negative way.
And there you have it. Five common myths related to CSR and how to get around them. Want to read more about CSR? Check out our other posts in our “CSR Corner” here!