Trends & Tactics

Trend: Many PR professionals consider "corporate social responsibility" the new buzz phrase for a concept that has long been at the root of the best corporate reputations. Whatever you call it, CSR can have a very real and direct impact on the bottom line, according to Cone Inc.'s annual Holiday Trend Tracker. The report, released last week, shows: 58 percent of respondents plan to purchase products in which a percentage of the price is donated to a cause. 53 percent of Americans plan to shop for holiday gifts from companies that support social issues. 91 percent of Americans plan to engage in charitable activities this season. Tactics: Whether you're a retailer looking to boost holiday sales or a beleaguered corporation looking to boost your reputation, corporate citizenship is the way to do it. It's not a quick fix, however. While donating a percentage of profits to a cause or cutting a fat check is a nice-to-do, it won't score points in the long-run. Now's the time to develop a long-term CSR plan, including partnerships with appropriate nonprofits, support of issues that fit your organization's mission and initiatives that will engage employees and firmly establish your company as a concerned corporate citizen.

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