Focus, Focus, Focus
Top corporate social responsibility companies know they have to focus on one area if they want to bring about social change. A lack of focus, for them, is just as harmful as it is to our individual professional lives. If you were an employer, would you want to interview a candidate whose resume included everything from pearl diving to managing an office? Chances are, you would rather have someone with substantial experience in the type of role you are looking to fill. Their experience and ability to focus ensure they will help your company fulfill its mission.
When looking for a social enterprise or csr company to support, you probably have similar requirements. You want to know that your time and money will have a direct impact on whatever cause you are most passionate about. When companies spread themselves too thin, public trust can erode. These companies can give the impression that they only help people in superficial ways. Or, customers may get the idea that the company just wants to flex its csr muscles for public relations purposes.
One company that seems not to have learned this lesson is UPS. The shipping industry leader throws its weight behind all sorts of causes. They help veterans and disabled children. They help provide medical care for pregnant women in developing countries. UPS also supports and provides disaster relief. We do not want to deny the good that UPS does, but when they spread themselves that thin, it can lead to superficial efforts. Customers are left to wonder—what does UPS stand for?
Of course, some top corporate social responsibility companies have an advantage over UPS. These are small startups that began life as social enterprises. LSTN Headphones is a great example. The company manufactures high end, audiophile headphones. Part of the proceeds from each sale go to provide hearing aids for people in developing countries who need, but cannot afford, the hearing aids.
The founders of LSTN saw a need and wanted to help. They knew they could not help much without money, so they started the headphone business to support their social enterprise. This is almost the opposite of what UPS did. UPS was an established company that decided to add a csr component after building their brand up for years. LSTN never wavered in its focus, and their activities continue to have a real, measurable impact.
So, where csr is concerned, is it better to be a nimble startup or a giant corporation? We think either model can succeed. Focus is the key. Google, like UPS, is an established company that decided to expand its csr reach. Google does support multiple programs, but they all share the goal of empowering people by increasing access to information. UPS could learn a thing or two from Google.
Helping You is Our Purpose
602 Communications is committed to helping entrepreneurs grow their brand by becoming more purpose driven. We can help you become one of the top corporate social responsibility companies in your sector. If you’d like to learn more or contact Graeme, be sure to use the links at the end of the video.