If a business can communicate Corporate Responsibility progress as well as problems, with the same levels of transparency and consistency, it is more likely to engage key stakeholders, deliver against the triple bottom line - People, Profits and Planet – and maintain its corporate reputation in the increasingly trust adverse and sceptical influencer and media environment of 2010, according to Communicating Corporate Responsibility: “Building Trust and Communicating CR Effectively” produced by Cranfield University, School of Management and Ogilvy PR Worldwide, which was published today.
In the post COP15 era, the world view of the role and responsibility of business has changed. The need to hardwire a commitment to sustainability into a company’s core business activity has never been greater and the importance of communicating Corporate Responsibility (CR) in this new reality has become a business imperative.
“Effective communications are essential for engaging stakeholders, which in turn will be critical for restoring trust in business so that we can work together to create the low carbon economy critical for the future of our planet and our children,” states Professor David Grayson from the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, part of Cranfield University School of Management.
Produced by Ogilvy PR experts around the world, the guide cites initiatives such as the International Advertising Association’s work on Hopenhagen- the COP15 awareness campaign, Ogilvy PR France’s digital engagement campaign for The Sustainable Development Ministry and case studies from global brands to offer best practice examples on communicating CR. It also offers insight into how to establish the ethical commitments that form a CR policy, how to embed and communicate these values, involve stakeholders and engage digital influencers and also how a strategic CR policy can help companies mitigate potential reputational crises and deliver long term benefits.
“If business is to prove itself as a responsible citizen, it must move ahead of compliance and regulation and embrace CR as a central tenet of doing business in the 21st century,” added Ogilvy PR London’s senior director Ross Cathcart.
“The social media revolution now means disingenuous corporate conduct is quickly exposed by ever vigilant consumers. This type of digital activism means that a corporation’s reputation will increasingly rest on its ethical practices and how it communicates not just its successes but also the issues it encounters on the journey to reaching its CR goals.
“Regular, transparent and honest exchanges with stakeholders are key to good corporate citizenship. They are also central to good business management as if you fail to communicate your CR message correctly and truthfully, not only will you miss out on opportunities but may find yourself facing a backlash.”
The guide aims to share best practice methods via global insight and learnings and the interactive book version also provides additional case studies that the reader can view to see real-world examples from across the globe as to how the recommendations have worked in practice.
The commitment to producing this guide follows last year’s launch of OgilvyEarth, the group’s holistic sustainability communications practice. The first-of-its-kind practice was established to help the agency’s clients with their sustainability programmes to drive shared and conscientious corporate growth. Combining professional expertise from various marketing disciplines, such as advertising, PR and digital, OgilvyEarth (www.ogilvyearth.com) offers strategic consulting, “green influencer” programmes and CSR thought leadership.
To view the pdf version of the guide, please visit: http://www.ogilvypr.com/en/content/communicating-corporate-responsibilit...
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About Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (www.ogilvypr.com) is an integrated global marketing communications firm, with offices in more than 60 cities around the world. In its 27th year, Ogilvy PR provides strategic public relations counsel to a variety of clients across its consumer marketing, corporate, healthcare, technology, public affairs, social marketing and entertainment practices. The agency also offers biotechnology and government affairs expertise through its subsidiaries Feinstein Kean Healthcare and Ogilvy Government Relations, respectively. Ogilvy PR is part of the WPP Group, one of the world's largest communications services organizations (NASDAQ: WPPGY, www.wpp.com).
About the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility
The Doughty Centre is a specialist research centre within Cranfield University School of Management, that was set up to research, teach and apply knowledge in the field of corporate responsibility and sustainability. Led by Professor David Grayson CBE, the centre’s vision is to put Sustainability and Responsibility at the heart of successful management. It does this by inspiring future and current managers with the passion for, and to equip them with the skills and outlook to, put sustainability and responsibility at the heart of successful organisations. The Centre has been made possible by a personal donation of £3m from Nigel Doughty - one of the Cranfield alumni.