Corporate Social Responsibility

November 8, 2006 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

 Due to the changing climate in the business environment, corporations must become actively involved in enriching society and the global surroundings in which they operate.  There is now an expectation that corporations have a responsibility to society as well as to creating economic value for the company.  By doing so, organizations have the opportunity to reap benefits both internally and externally.

By becoming involved with social projects an organization will improve its reputation by demonstrating it is a contributor to enhancing the world in which it operates.  A positive reputation has numerous advantages for the external environment, which has the potential to increase the bottom line.  It has been proven that if publics view a corporation as ethical they are more likely to purchase its products and services or invest in the organization. Ethical behaviour allows a company increased access to new markets as well as inspiring loyalty within already established markets.  Furthermore, illustrating a willingness to contribute displays more suitability for investment to the private and institutional investment community.   Regulatory agencies are more inclined to expedite red-tape issues for ethical corporations as well.  This in turn will save money on delays.  Agencies also like to see that organizations are willing to address issues that are important to stakeholders.

Internal benefits are also abundant for companies that choose to become socially responsible. First, it promotes better strategic management by emphasizing a long-term view.  This enables the corporation to better foresee challenges that can become a crisis.  A long-term view also presents options that may have been discarded because they did not meet short term goals.  In addition, improved strategic management is very appealing to financial organizations.  Included in internal benefits is improvement in employee relations.  Employees feel increased loyalty to a corporation with which they are proud to be associated.  Volunteer work can introduce or improve important job-related skills such as, leadership, cooperation and problem-solving. 

It is up to the public relations practitioner to devise a social responsibility program that would best suit the needs of not only society but also the organization in which he or she is employed.  The practitioner has the task of informing stakeholders and the media of the good work that the corporation performs.  It is important that the company can provide information to anyone who requests it.  It’s the professional’s duty to convey the organization’s vision through the appropriate channels.

Corporate social responsibility is a reciprocal relationship that benefits not only society but also the organization itself.  It is a crucial element for any company that wants to thrive in the present business community.

To learn more about corporate social responsibility:

http://www.nonprofitscan.ca

http://www.imaginecanada.ca

Christa Dickson

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