Aflac faced a conundrum. The supplemental insurance company has a long-established track record for its community engagement work, but it wasn’t getting the credit it deserved. Despite regularly earning a spot on lists like Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies,” Aflac was not well regarded for community commitment; one report found consumers thought Aflac was lacking in its CSR profile. The company’s campaign to rectify that misunderstanding has earned first place in the “Reputation Management Campaign” category of the PR Daily Awards.
Specifically, the campaign was designed to raise awareness of Aflac’s record for ethical leadership, its diverse and inclusive workforce, its philanthropy and its work in environmental sustainability. Executive interviews and public appearances elevated the company’s leaders to thought leadership status. The company undertook a variety of other efforts to solidify its CSR credentials, such as improving the methodology to assure gender equity in staff compensation.
The CSR campaign promoted the naming of Aflac’s first Chief Officer for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and its continued efforts to donate its My Special Aflac Duck to childhood cancer patients. The company has also earned considerable recognition for its CSR efforts, including Ethisphere’s award for the World’s Most Ethical Company, a PRSA Silver Anvil, a Holmes Report SABRE (both North America and Global) and a listing in Black Enterprise’s 50 Best Companies for Diversity.
The campaign led to a 2.8-point rise in the Reputation Institute’s RepTrack rankings. Aflac became the first insurance company to earn the ISO 50001:2011 certification for energy efficiency. The campaign also secured 2 billion CSR media impressions, while social media engagement leapt considerably.
Congratulations to Jon Sullivan, Chris Ehrhart, Kristen Fraser, Buffy Swinehart, Darcy Brito and Catherine Hernandez-Blades.