Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Advertising >> Article

Guest Column: Corporate Social Responsibility: An obligation or a brand custodian?

11-May-2017
Font Size   16
Share
Guest Column: Corporate Social Responsibility: An obligation or a brand custodian?

Today, most organizations treat CSR as a mandate. And it fills crevices in functions to the likes of human resources, marketing communications, and finance and in some cases, administration. But in an ideal business world, CSR is a commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. It might be a mouthful, but it brings home the point that a successful CSR program impacts the entire organization and the communities and the globe that they serve.

The Companies Act (2013) mandates corporate houses to draw out a CSR plan and invest 2% of their net profits of preceding three years to delve into creating maximum social impact. However, the work that is being carried out under the realm of CSR exposes a rather grim situation. Only a handful of campaigns emerge in the CSR space. Thus, there lies an immense potential that is yet to be explored. CSR is a standalone function, which can create widespread impact on the ground with the scoped resources of 2% CSR funding. However, when it is packaged with effective PR-communication tools, it transforms into a platform through which masses can be reached out.

A brand has become much more than a marketing strategy, a shiny logo, or a catchy tag line; a true brand represents the core values of the organization. A brand is derived not from branding, but from the totality of its work, initiatives, products and services, positioning, responsibility to stakeholders and communications and marketing efforts.

Integrating CSR with brand communications and ethos reaps great benefits. To be most effective, CSR initiatives must be intimately connected to the corporate brand. They must reinforce a company’s unique identity and be an integral part of how a business tells its story. That is where a CSR marketing consultancy finds its place.

Denstu Aegis Network, India has recently launched InDeed, a new division dedicated to providing CSR Marketing Solutions. InDeed works with clients to infuse brand purpose into CSR strategies. It looks into integrating branding and CSR in order to build a corporate culture around responsibility leading to business sustainability and reap reputational rewards. Thereby, making Corporate Social Responsibility an opportunity beyond mere compliance.

Some examples that point in this direction are Dettol’s ‘Banega Swachh India’, ‘P & G Siksha’, which innately triggers and impacts the purchasing behavior of consumers leading to long term financial sustainability and profitability. In the classic case of Maggi (MSG controversy), a gradual investment in brand-led CSR would have reduced the losses and helped them pick up in the fast losing market share swiftly after product correction measures.

In a nutshell, making CSR a brand custodian is a safe investment for long-term financial and social sustainability.

(The author is AVP, InDeed, a new division of DAN dedicated to providing CSR Marketing Solutions)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

Speaking with exchange4media, Rishi Darda, Joint Managing Director and Editorial, Lokmat Media Group shared his vision for regional publications and the impact of IRS 2017 on the print industry.

Nisha Narayan, COO & Director, RED FM & Redtro and CEO, Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd, shares her insights on how radio is a powerful medium in terms of advertising and what can be done to take it to the next level

The popular channel from the Viacom18 ‘s umbrella MTV Indies, which aired music by independent artistes, was replaced by MTV Beats, a 24x7 Hindi music channel in 2016

Bhasin on the checks and balances of new IRS, methodology with new companies like Vedsur on board, interpreting the data and why it’s not fair to compare with previous data

The popular channel from the Viacom18 ‘s umbrella MTV Indies, which aired music by independent artistes, was replaced by MTV Beats, a 24x7 Hindi music channel in 2016

Backed by four properties including the first test match between South Africa and India of Freedom Cup, Sony Ten 1 continued to lead Top 5 channels in 2018’s second week (January 6-12)

Vijay Shekhar Sharma stated that this is the right time to create an Indian model which would be the envy of the world