The story of your corporate social responsibility initiative matters—here’s how to tell it in a unique way

Your CSR initiative may be unique, but are you telling its story effectively?

The causes your organization advocates for are important. Whether you’re championing education, fighting for gun reform, aiding in disaster relief or speaking up in an effort to create a more diverse and inclusive industry, your cause matters.

How you tell the story of these issues matters too. Securing donations, volunteers, media coverage and social media followers all starts with storytelling. Socially responsible organizations that produce results should be able to tell great stories about their initiatives. These organizations took unique approaches to CSR storytelling and it paid off. Learn more about their work and how you can incorporate their strategies into yours:

Adopt a brand activism approach

Brand activism requires that organizations champion social action. In today’s political climate, there are many social issues you can get behind. Brand activism requires authenticity in the messaging you put out involving social issues. It shows your audience that the people in your organization are facing the same issues they are. It also helps to build trust and shows that your brand serves a greater purpose than selling product.

Thinx, the apparel and feminine hygiene brand behind leak-proof period underwear, started a column on its blog called “This Week in Feminism” to highlight current events and politics through a feminist lens. This content series fit perfectly into the existing blog and showed readers that the brand was socially aware with the issues they’re concerned about.

Host an event

Events are a great way to gain media coverage or find donors for the cause your organization is passionate about. Whether you host a gala, a talk series or another kind of event, finding the right audience is key. Times Square Limited, a high-end, 17-level mall in Hong Kong, was the perfect venue for an event that earned high praise (and an award) from PR Daily.

The goal was to raise awareness of and financial support for Cantonese opera. Interest in the art form, which includes elements of music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting, had waned. To reignite interest, Times Square Limited brought it into its space as “artetainment,” which would be seen by shoppers who could interact and engage with exhibits.

The exhibits and performances were seen by 3.3 million people. Ninety-five percent of local publications and magazines covered the event, all of which helped build interest among the younger audience, who shared photos and posts across social media.

Produce a video

Video is everywhere, and it’s a great way to tell your CSR story in a unique and shareable way. Bayer Crop Science took this approach when promoting its social media campaign for the Feed A Bee initiative. Their goal was to educate the public about the importance of bee health and show how people can be part of the solution to the troubling decline in the bee population

The video, which mixed animation with live footage, was viewed nearly 50,000 times. It earned the team an award in PR Daily’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

Partner with a nonprofit or local business

Forming a partnership with a local business or nonprofit is essential to a community affairs initiative. Find an organization that’s keyed into the community you want to provide aid to, and use your resources to give back.

Cigna found great success by partnering with a Washington, D.C.-based black-owned barbershop. Its goal was to decrease rates of colorectal cancer in the black community by encouraging men to get regular screenings. This grassroots effort helped to start an important conversation, and even earned significant media attention. The initiative was covered by The Washington Post, local news stations and national affiliates.

Do you have a sustainability, education, environmental or diversity initiative you’d like recognized? Enter PR Daily’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

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