07Oct, 2014

Increase CSR Impact Through Communication Program

CSROleh: Faizal Abrudin & Ramlan Widiawan

Company is an integral part of a community. The existence of a company brings hope for significant improvement and development of the welfare of the region in which it operates. Nowadays, many companies have taken part in developing the surrounding area by answering the happening social issues with a variety of corporate responsibility programs or better known as CSR.

As CSR program is required by the government in the Law, it gets more familiar for public and becomes a trend among corporations. Although CSR programs have many innovation and solution in answering social problems in a community, many companies have not optimized the impact of the CSR programs to provide the community with a maximum impact of the implementated program.

One of the classic problems that make CSR programs not having optimal impact to the company and to the community is communication. Less precise and less effective communication approach is the reason why good CSR programs and strategies do not have an optimal impact on society. An effective CSR communication can boost the positive image of the company and the company closeness with the community to strengthen cooperation with all stakeholders. Good cooperation with stakeholders really determines the positioning of the company at large, which is closely related to income and even the value of the company’s stock.

In order to make a well-communicated CSR program, a company should do the following things:

Before starting on CSR activities, Prodev team, a business unit of Fortune PR specifically assisting clients on CSR programs, always do some research to understand the challenges in the society, the existing opportunities to overcome those challenges, and the strength or local wisdom that can be explored to empower the community to overcome the challenges and achieve development goals in various aspects.

Social mapping will also make companies understand the various groups of stakeholders there, the important figures to be invited to collaborate, and the nature, behaviors, and different habits of each group of stakeholders.

If CSR activities have ever been done previously, CSR audit is needed to determine which CSR activities are the most effective to increase good will index of the company, which are considered “supposed to be done”, which are considered a waste or which are considered the proudest and worth promoting.

Based on the above results, a company can make strategic and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) planning. Then they can determine which CSR programs to be adjusted, improved, continued, promoted or terminated. For communication program, they must set the communication objectives, strategies to achieve those objectives, key messages, media, the main target and measurement methods to be used.

Now, the question is how to determine an effective communication approach for the CSR programs. According to Ramlan Widiawan, CSR Communications Consultants of Fortune PR, the most appropriate time to conduct the communication approach for a CSR program is while the CSR program is being implemented and has an impact. The company must perform communication activities while the CSR program is being implemented and has an impact on the beneficiaries.

The most effective viewpoint in a CSR program campaign is by putting forward the viewpoint of beneficieries.

In order for the communication to succeed, a company must prioritize beneficiaries by starting from the beneficieries’ viewpoint and then from the company’ perspective. If the company is to be put forward, it is feared that it will cause significant antipathy towards the company.

To make it better, communication performed must be completed with a valid data before and after the implementation of the company’s CSR programs, so that the impact of these programs is completely measurable. When the impact of CSR programs is measured, the communication performed will be more effective and sharp.

In general, a well-conducted communication must include proper communication timing, a touching communication standpoint, and weighted communication content as a representation of the impact of the implemented program.  

Fortune PR, through Prodev, one of its business units currently led by Ramlan Widiawan, has frequently helped many companies in communications campaigns for their CSR programs, and has also been involved with the company in developing the CSR strategy as well as implementing the CSR program and the communication program. Most communications programs performed have helped the CSR programs to have more impact on beneficeries and of course on the company that organizes them.


Picture Source: http://www.nsccibusinessservices.co.uk/uploads/images/Lets%20do%20CSR300.jpg

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