Apply a societal perspective to understand how your business is perceived as a whole at all levels; globally, nationally, locally. The corporate brand should be a statement of your place in society, its values and its principles. It takes a substantial engagement with your audiences to define what matters to them and what they expect from you. But by staying true to these expectations it will build trust, legitimacy and reputation. In recent years we have seen prominent companies, small or large, learned hard lessons about how quickly a damaged reputation can harm employees and customers loyalty, threatening a company’s financial well being and even its viability.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become central for any business and the corporate brand. It is not enough to have policies, you have to show how you act and live the values of the company. The definition of CSR has developed from ‘social and environmental concerns in business operations’ to ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society’. Beside social and climate issues, there has to be principles for human rights, labor and anti-corruption. When businesses go global they will be confronted with great challenges and imperfections.
The empowerment with social media increases the emphasis on transparency and it has to be addressed proactively. For the way forward it will not be enough to comply with the law. Where possible, businesses need to make a difference through positive actions. UN Global Compact has developed a new interface of CSR and its relationship to the market and the public. At the core of the “Business Engagement Architecture” is leadership that goes beyond obligations and makes a difference through positive actions.
The next generation of CSR management has to be a central part of the brand, in actions and in conversations with the audience.
We’d love to meet you to discuss how your organization could discover reputation risks and opportunities – and get started in creating a clear identity in the social media age.
As a starting point – we typically perform a quick assessment of your current reputation profile, and prepare a plan of prioritized actions based on our first hand experiences on how to gear up your organization for the changes ahead.
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