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  • Writer's pictureMacKenzie Wutzke

Why You Need to Implement Corporate Social Responsibility Into Your PR Efforts and How to Do It

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Everyone in the world of business knows how important a public relations team is for a brand. They make sure the public knows what’s going on in your company, puts it in a good light, and then gets the media to pay attention to it . However, public relations isn’t just about trying to make a brand look good. In fact, if public relations teams are insincere in their efforts, customers can see through it and the company comes off looking fake. This is why it’s a good idea to not only implement corporate social responsibility into your public relations efforts, but also make sure these efforts truly align with your message. Read on to learn how you can be genuine with your public relations efforts and learn about companies that have done it right.


First Off, What is Corporate Social Responsibility?


Corporate social responsibility includes all the actions a company takes to improve their environmental and social impacts. This could be anything from starting a green initiative to reduce carbon emissions to donating to worthy causes within their community. Whatever a company chooses to do, they need to make sure the actions align with their mission statement. If it doesn’t, they can look insincere and the public would think they are only doing it to look good for the public. The timing also has to be taken into consideration.

For example, imagine a scenario where a company dumped all their waste into a nearby lake and polluted it so much it ruined the ecosystem. The information gets leaked to the public and a week later, that same business just happens to release to the press information about a donation they made to the National Parks Conservation Association. Obviously, the public knows they’re trying to get good PR to counteract their big scandal. This comes off as insincere and is not effective.


What are the Benefits of CSR?


There are a lot of benefits to incorporating corporate social responsibility into your business model. The most obvious benefit is that it makes your brand look good in media light. This is where your PR team can really shine as they work to get the word out about your CSR efforts. You need to talk to the media about your business and explain any events you might be throwing.


Aligning your brand with a social issue can also help grow your client base and make your employees happier. In fact, Cone Communication, a media company, states that 74 % of people “say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided with opportunities to make a positive impact at work.” They also state that “51% won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social and environmental commitments.” Incorporating CSR can also make the community cleaner and happier. Of course, it’s almost silly to mention all of the moral victories a company gets for cleaning up the environment and giving to a worthy cause.


How do I do it?


There are a ton of businesses today who excel at using corporate social responsibility within their PR efforts. You can look at these 5 great examples and take inspiration from the best in the business.

1. Coca - Cola Coca Cola had several sustainability initiatives this past year. Their main goals included making their package 100% recyclable, returning 100% of the water used in their drinks, reducing their carbon footprint by 25% by the year 2030. That last effort actually started back in 2015. In their latest report, they also mention prioritizing a wider variety of options for their consumers to enjoy. That includes beverages with lower sugar content and those that use less packaging.


2. TOMS

TOMS shoes is another company that stresses the importance of sustainability. Their efforts have included reducing their carbon footprint, sourcing their packaging from sustainably managed forests, and making their packaging with at least 80% recycled materials. They also have a goal to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2025. Finally, to reduce waste, the company has started exploring “end of use” programs for their shoes.

Starbucks has also made a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint. Along with using reusable packaging and investing in forest conservation, they have also started expanding their menu with more plant-based products. This is not only good for the environment, but it also shows inclusivity for vegetarian and vegan customers.

Johnson and Johnson Vision have been deeply involved with CSR for a long time. Not only did they cofound Sight For Kids, a program that provides eye health services for students in low-income schools, but they also support the Himalayan Cataract Project. Johnson and Johnson has also given charitable donations to nonprofits related to healthcare access and STEM programs.

5. IKEA


IKEA’s sustainability report highlights three main sections of their sustainability efforts from 2020. They promote healthy and sustainable living, have a goal to be a climate positive business by 2030, and promote equality while striving to be an inclusive business. Their report also goes into the impact the coronavirus has had on their workers and customers and what they’ve done to combat that. That includes donating face masks, gloves, bedding, food, and toys to medical facilities and shelters during the pandemic.

Now what?


As you can see, implementing corporate social responsibility into your public relations efforts can be mutually beneficial for your company and for the community your business resides in. With the examples set before you, you can find inspiration to contribute to any cause you want. Remember to make sure your efforts are backed by your business’s mission statement, or you risk looking insincere. Done right, corporate social responsibility can help your business build trust with its employees and customers while fostering growth within your community.

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