CSR reporting cannot be the end all and be all. It helps companies identify issues and promote what they are doing well all at the same time. But to have true change within a company, to move from being a company that just reports, there are several hurdles to overcome. Following are best practices to create an effective CSR report:
- Move reporting out of the communications function: It can be driven from there but involve al functions and departments. Get true champions at all levels.
- Talk to people. Share your passion: People want to join people who care about something. But be smart about it and tie it to business objectives and solutions to challenges faced in the business. Show that responsibility is about transparency and about finding better ways to do the business.
- Don’t focus on the end report. Focus on the process of getting there: Spend a lot of time deciding what goes into the report. Engage a lot of internal and external stakeholders. Listen. Strategize. Make a five-year plan for where you want CSR to be in your company in the future.
This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in PR News upcoming Gude to Best Practices in Corporate Social Responsibility/Green PR, Volume 3. It was written by Ashley Barwig, senior associate at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago. To order the guidebook or find out more information about it, check for periodic updates on www.prnewsonline.com/store.