All Good Deeds Must Be Reported

Now's not the time to get shy, shout out about
your company's social engagements.

When we first started hearing the phrase “corporate social responsibility (CSR)” frankly we thought it sounded both boring and painful like “brunch with your teetotaling Aunt Edna” or a “six-hour talk about timeshare opportunities in Death Valley.” But we quickly learned that the phrase, while a bit banal, was actually a good thing when done well—a way for companies to share their tactics to bring about positive change in the world.

How can you promote the good your company is doing, in a way that is not only engaging but that also is inspiring? We break it down for you.

Establishing a good editorial plan

No project should start without a solid plan backing it. Why? Because things happen, you get distracted, papers get lost in the shuffle, computers mysteriously eat saved files. (What? It happens.) Begin your report creation process by outlining what needs to be done and when to make the project happen.

Interviewing a variety of subject
matter experts

Once your plan is in place, now you can get down to the work of fleshing out the material. This is important stuff, because how you handle this determines whether or not people will be intrigued by your CSR report, or if they will want to ignore it.

Obviously how creative you get with your report depends on the nature and personality of your company. Ideally, the tone and format will reflect the vision and values of your business. But no matter what, it’s important to include details and insights in the CSR report from those outside the company who have been effected by your actions. This adds some color to your copy and provides additional points of view to frame your initiatives. 

Including solid design principles

The final piece of your CSR will be focused on how it all looks. Is the layout engaging? Have you included multiple points of entry? Does the format mirror any changes going on with your company or its initiatives? Is the report going to be easy to use and distribute and/or update? Having an engaging layout with lots of visual appeal via photography, infographics and text points of entry will go a long way toward making your CSR more readable.

Knowing what to avoid

CSR reports may not be that new thriller that you are dying to take to the beach and devour. We get it. All too often they can get a bad rep for being a PR tool or less than forthcoming with the facts. Everyone wants to put their best foot forward, we understand that, but resist the temptation to promote false information to make your business look good. If you want to make your CSR report impactful opt for accuracy, brevity, honesty and regularity. Following those guidelines will improve the worth of your corporate social responsibility report by leaps and bounds.