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Corporates should be honest with CSR

by Goddie Ofose
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As a result of the growing sense of corporate offenses, the concepts of ethical behaviour and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have been on the front burner in recent years in both developed and developing countries.

The idea that businesses have some responsibilities to society beyond that of making profits for shareholders has been around for centuries. Meanwhile, the last one year of Coronavirus pandemic crisis has seen companies articulating their values and taking a stand on CSR initiatives in record numbers.

For many corporates, however, the noise and passion for something greater than earning a profit is not always elegantly executed. Many industry watchers believe that the speed at which businesses are becoming vocal about their CSR initiatives and values may not really align with their motives. Keen observers still think that corporates are involved in issues or support causes just to improve their reputation.

So the question of how, when, where, and why corporates share the stories of their efforts so that their good work will boost, rather than hinder the public’s perception of their brand now becomes even more significant.

Among the surefire methods corporate leaders and marketing communications teams can use to improve the way they talk about their CSR efforts to gain credibility and positive attention, candour remains on top of the list. Without being candid in implementing your initiatives and communicating your values and good work, it will be difficult to shift public perception about your CSR plan.

With consumers, investors and employees increasingly interested in companies’ social and environmental performance, honesty is becoming a corporate necessity. While considering CSR, it is important for corporates to balance the interests of customers, communities, business partners and employees with those of shareholders. As CSR has become both a watchword and a buzzword in management circles, being more honest is one clear way that corporates can close the trust gap. Happy reading!

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