Both individual companies and entire industries have choices to make about how they respond to the needs of their community, the environment, etc. For instance, when it comes to environmental concerns, they can take no action unless they are required to do so by laws and regulations. Or they can address environmental concerns not because they have to, but because they believe that it’s the right thing to do in the long run and will ultimately prove beneficial not only to the environment but to their own business goals.
Several organizations now believe that they should take steps to address social and environmental concerns even without the legal requirement to do so. However, many question if they should inform stakeholders—such as their employees and customers—about their actions in these areas.
While some individuals like to give anonymously to charities and causes, this is not always the best option for a business or organization. Companies or industries that do “good deeds” and take steps to help address social and environmental concerns can benefit by informing all major stakeholders (including staff, vendors, and end-customers) about their actions. In fact, the issue is not whether they should share this information, but rather how they should share it. This does not require a big drum roll, but it should be carefully noted in marketing materials and in company news stories and press releases.
Why? There is a very good business case to be made for such a policy. A 2013 study by Cone Communications found that given similar price and quality options, 91 percent of consumers would be likely or somewhat likely to switch to a company associated with a good cause. And nearly 60 percent of the employees working for a company involved in social or environmental causes said it made them proud of the actions their employer was taking.
What’s the key takeaway from this data? If your organization is doing something good, be proud of it—and do not hesitate to tactfully let the world know about it. This is, very simply, good PR.