Found this great article on Linked in and while it is business focus think there are a number of lessons that work very well with the education sector.
With an increase in consumer pressure for companies to be more socially responsible, making a positive contribution to society is becoming increasingly important. From the perspective of many corporations and business owners, however, social responsibility is often considered the “right thing to do” but not necessarily something that is required nor do many business owners believe social responsibility is able to increase the company’s revenue stream and profitability. These beliefs could not be further from the truth.
As social awareness becomes an ever increasing issue for the general public, companies that embrace corporate social responsibility have shown massive gains in terms of trust, brand authority, and even revenue. As I write this, the NFL is embroiled in a debate over whether it is doing enough to take action against players who have committed acts of domestic violence. Several sponsors have already begun to pull their support, costing millions in ad revenue – it remains to be seen what the ultimate fallout will be.
That said, this topic has been studied well and here are 7 reasons your company should care about social responsibility:
1. Drives More Business
In a recent study conducted by the associate professor of communication at SUNY’s School of Media and Communication looked at various factors of the mission statements between Fortune 500 companies to see what separated the top from the bottom. Companies in the top 20 of the Fortune 500 such as Walmart, Chevron, and AT&T actively pursued social responsibility in their mission statement and placed more emphasis on nonfinancial issues than companies found on the bottom of the list.
This goal to not only operate with financial success but also keep the community’s local interests in mind has helped separate the top companies apart from their lower-tiered counterparts. While there are more factors at play, social responsibility is a large factor in driving more business as proven by the top 20 companies in the world.
2. Improves Brand Recognition
As companies become more active in contributing positively to society, more people hear about it. With social media changing the way brands are viewed by the public, having as much positive exposure as possible is crucial. The more a company is actively involved in their community, the easier it will be for consumers to identify that company in a positive way.
Not only does helping causes, actively participating in sustainability, and making an effort to provide cause-driven marketing provide direct ties to the community that will elicit direct actions from consumers to positively talk about your company, it also presents great opportunities for PR material that can be used for future promotion of your brand.
3. Meets Customer Expectations
In a study conducted Echo Research and Cone Communications, ten thousand consumers were asked questions about what they expect from companies. A resounding 90% of respondents said that they would trust companies that demonstrate positive social practices. Over 55% of the consumers stated that they no-longer use brands that they feel do not show socially responsible traits which means that companies that are not actively participating in helping society run the risk of alienating their customer base which can have a negative impact on sales and business. As more and more consumers begin to expect social responsibility from businesses, it is up to the company to embrace this role so they do not risk losing current customers by failing to meet social expectations.
4. Increases Sales and Consumer Sentiment
Being socially responsible is not just the correct thing to do or a nice gesture to the community. It has a huge impact on bottom line sales and revenue for companies. Do Well Do Good released study results that revealed important information linking social responsibility with consumer behavior. In the study over 60% of consumers stated that they would buy a new brand if they felt that the cause the company was supporting was one that they also cared about.
More than half of the Americans polled stated that they would go out of their way as much as 10 minutes just to purchase brands and products that supported causes that they also support. Over 70% of all respondents stated that they would pay extra—as much as 22% more on a $10 product—just to purchase products that support a charity or cause that they believe in.
5. Eases Recruitment and Employee Retention
Consumers are not the only aspect of a business that are impacted by social responsibility. Employees also feel strongly about how the companies they work for demonstrate their care for causes, the environment, and other social aspects that impact them. In the same study by Echo Research, over 80% of corporate employees would strongly consider leaving the company if they found out that the business used child labor to create their products. Almost one-third of employees stated that they would consider moving to another company if their current employers did not donate to charity, and 65% stated that they would consider changing jobs if the company they worked for harmed the environment.
6. Improves Local Quality Of Life
Through social outreach, companies can actively improve the quality of life of those who live in areas where the company is located. By actively participating in local causes not only does a company build local rapport with the community which ultimately translates to higher levels of trust and brand recognition, the causes that they support also have a direct impact on the quality of life for residents. This holds especially true for multinational corporations that have locations based in countries and cities with below average living conditions.
7. Insulates Against Competition
Social responsibility has a direct correlation to public opinion and, as a result, can affect consumer choices between two brands. As activists bring more attention to large corporations and the impact they can have on social issues (both positively and negatively), corporations that actively participate in providing positive change for pressing issues gain a competitive edge over other companies in the same market. In the 1990s shoe manufacturer Nike faced large customer boycott due to the discovery that the company was using irresponsible labor practices in Indonesia during the manufacturing of shoe products. As a result, competing shoe companies that used responsible manufacturing processes were able to gain increases in market share through social responsibility.
Why else do you think corporate social responsibility is important?
Republished from LIFTdad.com