We asked our PR and growth experts to give us their insight on the latest trends in social impact activities to inspire entrepreneurs. What are the trends in social impact activities that entrepreneurs are advised to get involved with? How can social responsibility and impact activities contribute to PR success? What are great examples of corporations implementing social impact?
Get inspired by these social impact campaigns and ideas:
"Having a social impact strategy is essential for the growth of a healthy business as well as company morale. Additionally, being known for having high social impact standards can position your organization as an industry leader, attract top talent, and create a positive discourse surrounding your company (which, in turn, informs future media coverage). Adidas, for example, prides itself on its corporate responsibility structure built on community involvement, employee engagement, and corporate giving. Ben and Jerry's is known for supporting social justice. Another up-and-coming initiative is going green in approachable ways, like introducing compost and eliminating single-use plastics in the office. When a company anchors itself to a cause and puts its money where its mouth is in an authentic way, the reward is almost always more public support!"
"The organizations that get the best, most consistent PR coverage have an element of “good will” embedded in their brand. This means that they regularly look to make a social impact in a way that is authentic to them, the company or their leadership. They are as committed to leaving the world better than they got it as they are committed to excellent customer service. This builds a deep connection to their clientele. Customers become even more committed to the brand.
Recent social impacts include Proctor and Gamble providing clean water for disaster areas. Nike has their Community Impact Fund which is employee-led and creates active communities making it easy for sports and play to be accessed. Sketchers has their Annual Friendship Walk to build community, facilitate new relationships and raise money for the school districts. It grows every year. Visually, you can see the impact.
Being consistent about your brand and the social impact that you are committed to builds trust with the community and the media. It makes for a mutually beneficial relationship when your brand shows up in a dynamic way and outlets can count on your story to share with an audience that they know is happy to be along for the ride. They also know to come to you for that particular subject matter in the case that something comes up. Brands find themselves as the expert to be called on. It’s a win."
"Education is the key to opportunity, and The Walt Disney Company is happy to help its workforce by funding the most comprehensive employer education programs in the nation. The Aspire initiative at Disney covers 100 percent of tuition costs and provides support services, such as onsite study halls and private career coaching, to employees as they complete their education. The Walt Disney Company has donated $150 million towards high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training, college and master's degrees, and more through the Disney Aspire initiative. The resource provides access to eleven colleges and technical schools, including online schools from the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida, and pays tuition, textbooks, and other expenses directly to the campus. More than half of Disney's 90,000 hourly full- and part-time employees have taken the basic enrollment step. The Walt Disney Company regards this initiative as a commitment to build futures and enhance communities through workforce development, but does not oblige employees to pursue education related to their titles."
"I would say, that since the company's inception, Ben & Jerry's has supported grassroots efforts for social justice, environmental protection, and sustainable food systems. Ben & Jerry's frequently ties its social initiatives to the production of ice cream, such as its support for Fairtrade, but it also collaborates with various social equality organizations. One of their programs, "Justice ReMix'd," focuses on criminal justice system reform and the disproportionate impact on people of color. Their employees also participate in the Ben & Jerry's foundation, where they serve on review committees for grassroots organizations."
"Netflix is one of the best internal instances of a social impact effort. The online video streaming corporation provides its employees with more than 52 weeks of paid parental leave, which they can use whenever they like throughout the first year of their child's life. For comparison, the majority of tech firms only provide 18 weeks."
"LinkedIn is able to carry out its social activities thanks to its wide network of charitable partnerships and its dedication to environmentally responsible business practices within the company's own facilities. One of their lofty eco-friendly aspirations is to become "zero-waste" by increasing their recycling and composting rates. Wind and solar power account for 80% of their office's energy use, with the remaining 20% coming from natural gas. Seventy percent of their worldwide workforce commutes utilizing environmentally preferable modes of transportation like bicycling, walking, and carpooling."
"Through the Burlington Coat Drive, Burlington Stores collaborates with the national nonprofit Delivering Good to keep residents of local communities warm. At their local Burlington shop locations across the nation, "Burlington customers, associates, and vendors give new and lightly worn coats during the holiday season. Coats are given away locally through Delivering Good to individuals in need in each shop community. The effort has collected more than 2.3 million coats to date, which has had a major impact on neighbors who are in need of a warm coat."
"Implementing social responsibility and impact activities within a workplace have the potential to add huge benefits across your company. Things like team-building by volunteering, or collectively working to donate a portion of your raised funds to a chosen organization are fabulous ways to impact your community in a mighty way. In addition to being morally sound and good, there are also benefits to receiving publicity and public awareness of your company's social responsibility and consideration."
"Shifting from a traditional to a hybrid set up of work has one of the greatest social impacts businesses are being forced to adapt. Traditional 9-5 jobs in the offices, employees physically interacting with each other, and the like have changed. I should say, the workforce and the way businesses run have also transformed into a much more flexible one with more room for time freedom, healthy activities, and unlimited opportunities."
"There are a number of social impact activities that entrepreneurs need to adapt in order to be successful. One of the most important is employee wellness. By ensuring that employees are healthy and happy, businesses can improve their bottom line while also making a positive impact on society.
Other social responsibility and impact activities that can benefit PR success include community engagement, sustainability initiatives, and charitable giving. By engaging with the community, businesses can build goodwill and generate positive publicity. Sustainability initiatives show that businesses are committed to protecting the environment, while charitable giving demonstrates a commitment to helping those in need."
"More and more people, especially younger generations, want to contribute to social change but often don’t have enough time to do so. A great idea for enabling them to do that is by offering workers some paid time off (for example two hours a week) to work voluntarily for some organisation that represents their ideals.This has a great potential of creating a more socially responsible working environment, at the same time being non-invasive for the company itself. This is also great for the company's reputation, since it demonstrates both the company's commitment to social improvements and the employees' enthusiasm for them.
A lot of studies have shown that younger generations are extremely socially-conscious and it influences their choices regarding their career paths and shopping choices. They are more eager to choose a brand that shows support for social issues important to them, so a socially active company is more likely to gain both engaged employees and customers."
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