If you’ve happened to catch any NFL action the past couple of weeks, you’ve noticed a trend of pink on the sidelines and on the uniforms of your favorite team.
In recognition of breast cancer awareness month, everything from game balls to helmet decals to coins have had a touch of pink, as the NFL and the NFL Players Association—in partnership with the American Cancer Society—has raised more than $3 million to date to fight breast cancer.
While cancer affects millions of people every year, hunger is an issue that also has an impact on communities around the country. Recognizing this, the Panera Bread Foundation has created Panera Cares Cafés, which are designed to raise the level of awareness about hunger while also being a catalyst for change within communities. According to its website, one of the goals of the program is to make sure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. People are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins.
These are just two examples of how notable brands are making the most of their CSR efforts. Smart organizations are creating programs that impact the bottom line while positively affecting the people and communities that support them.
Does your brand have a social vision? PR pros must ensure that consumers are aware of what brands are doing to impact society.
In PR News’ Corporate Social Responsibilty and Green PR guidebook, the following five tips are offered to brands that are looking to implement an effective CSR plan:
- Choose a program that aligns with your business focus areas, mission, vision and values. For example, if your business is a health care company, look at how you can provide greater access to health in developing countries. Or if you’re an energy company, explore how you can create greater efficiencies through renewable energy.
- Get buy-in and support from senior leadership. If senior management doesn’t believe in the program, or get behind it, there is less of a chance of the program lasting in the long run.
- Find a like-minded partner. Often NGOs and government organizations need support from corporations, but also have access to people and partners that corporations can benefit from.
- Map your CSR goals against your top three business objectives. When developing a CSR program, determine what your business goals are for it. For example, maybe your goal is to attract new customer segments or get into a new market. Find a program that will help with that.
- Align CSR with core competencies. Your CSR strategy is part of your business, so it should be woven into the everyday work at the company. Look for ways to leverage the core resources and talent that already exist within your company.
Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson