Source | LinkedIn : By Randi Zuckerberg
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises including Intel, Girl Rising, IF Hummingbird Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Blackbaud and JCPenney.
1) What does a corporate responsibility expert gauge?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) experts can consult on a range of activities, from supply chain operations to employee volunteer programs to community impact initiatives. My firm, McPherson Strategies, focuses on helping brands create and promote CSR programs, partnerships and campaigns that engage customers, employees and communities. We work with companies to tell authentic stories about their CSR programs to increase awareness and inspire more positive action.
2) Why is corporate social responsibility so crucial today? Corporate social responsibility has always been important, and today more than ever. From a business perspective, we’re seeing an increase in demand from consumers who want to buy from companies that operate sustainably and responsibly. Consumers want to feel good about the purchases they make, and companies are starting to catch on to that. But beyond that, we’ve really seen an increase in companies stepping up to the plate and taking a leadership role to solve increasingly urgent challenges and open the door to real honest transparency and engagement.
For example, companies played a major role in the 2015 climate talks in Paris, which is a big change from 10 or 15 years ago when most corporations didn’t want to be involved in conversations concerning the environment. Companies are finally realizing the power they have to amplify and make change — along with the responsibility that comes with it.
3) What companies get it right?
The companies that get it right are the ones that have an authentic desire to make the world a better place. CSR can have positive benefits for the bottom line, but if that’s your only motivation, customers will see right through it.
CSR isn’t a marketing strategy, but it can certainly help a company in how its viewed in the world. CSR is about having a real commitment to people, to the planet and to the communities in which your company operates. Companies like Tiffany & Co., Unilever, Nike, Marks and Spencer and Virgin are setting strong examples here, with in-depth, cohesive and high-impact CSR strategies that align authentically with their brands and products.