Giving Back to the Society: Using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs to Strengthen Company’s Public Image

By  //  June 24, 2022

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Building a successful business is not just about making profits and smiling to the bank always nor about the steady growth or expansion works the company has undertaken over the years. But also, with the kind of relationship that exists between the business and the community in which it operates. 

Building a cordial and workable relationship between a business and a community requires strategic planning, commitment, and mutual understanding.  Understanding the community’s needs and wants, and implementing programs to tackle these challenges through corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the surest ways to build a strong business-community relationship, public image, and give back to society.

What is corporate social responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an internal mechanism a company/business entity adopts to be socially accountable and responsible to the public, especially in the community they operate. This self-regulating activity comes in different forms depending on the company’s mode of operation, and intended purpose. CRS helps companies to make amends for whatever impact (mostly negative) their operations are having on society, being environmental, economic, or social. 

For environmental protection, a company can choose to adopt eco-friendly models including reducing carbon emissions and pollution, planting trees, and protecting river bodies, as its CSR. On the economic level, corporations can train and equip the locals to have a sustainable living, give financial help to the needy, and women and men empowerment among others. The company may choose to reserve a quota for the community people when it comes to hiring employees. Socially, a business must ensure that its activities benefit the community. The building or equipping health and educational facilities, and the provision of amenities can also be a company’s CSR initiative. 

Entities like law firms can also give back to society by educating the public on their rights and responsibilities, and providing free consultancy and legal aid to people who cannot afford the feed. According to the group of attorneys at the Barnes Firm, helping victims get justice no matter their financial capacity is one of the priceless gifts and services a law firm can ever render, aside from other philanthropic activities. 

Corporate social responsibility is not always a voluntary act, as some are backed by national or state laws. Some state laws demand corporate bodies to undertake certain CSR programs to help improve the lives of the people living in their operational communities. Failure to adhere to such policy usually results in stiff penalties, including ceasing operations. 

However, every visionary business with long-term plans doesn’t need such rigorous laws before embarking on CSR. As already said, such programs enhance the public image of the company and strengthen its relationship with the locals.

How Corporate Social Responsibility Strengthens Public Image and Relationship

Currently, most people are enlightened and well-informed due thanks to the internet. As such, getting information is easier unlike before, and once a business is perceived to be greedy and insensitive to employees, customers, and the community, it spreads like wildfire. Such perceptions dent the business’s public image, lead to boycotts, and affect sales. Businesses should therefore make conscious efforts in building a reputable brand devoid of scandals through corporate and social responsibilities and other policies. 

Companies can employ different strategies for their CSR programs. With that being said, the strategies should be in line with the company’s general policy. It could be through education (awareness creation and advocacy), donations, investing in human resource management, and philanthropic activities (providing social amenities, and facilities). The right strategy can 

Improve Customers Perception 

Giving back to society is one of the best ways to create public awareness, improve brand image, and also build a positive public perception of your brand. You should know that no one wants to associate with a brand with a bad image. As public perception counts in branding, the perception out there is what attracts investors, and customers to your business. Once all these stakeholders become aware that your brand prioritizes CSR, it builds a positive awareness, which automatically attracts positive reviews and builds your customer base. 

Attracts the right employee 

Every employee wants to be part of a company with a positive public image and involved in giving back to society. They love to work for firms that invest in human resource development, while also committing resources to the development and sustainability of the environment around them. If for nothing, they can boast of the positive impact the business is having on society.

Attract the right investments 

Business thrives on good management and financial injection. To reach your expansion target, your business may need investments from potential investors. Investors indeed look out for profit. However, some investors also look at the policy guidance of the company including CSR programs and initiatives before making a move. Once potential investors hear about the planned and sustainable social initiatives, it can urge them to invest in your business. 

Although one of the goals of corporate social responsibility is to enhance brand image, it should never be used as a marketing scheme. Doing that defeats the noble idea and can later ruin all efforts and investments. When customers discover your motive, all the goodwill towards your company may be lost.