Businesses that engage with the local community are valued highly and are seen as more socially responsible in comparison to brands that do not get involved with community life, according to results from a recent study by local community organisation Your Square Mile, quoted by Marketing Week.
Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) is still not a top priority for the majority of brands, the findings from the study reveal that businesses should consider strategies to engage with the community. Overall, 97% of people stated that their opinion of a brand would improve if it contributed to their community. In addition, more than one in three respondents assessed the current business involvement in their community as “poor” or “very poor,” compared to just 1% who thought that business engagement in their community was excellent. The survey interviewed 1,000 Britons between the ages of 18 and 65.
Results showed that three in five respondents thought businesses could definitely do more to participate in community life, while a further 35% stated that they could probably contribute more. By contrast, less than 1% shared the opposite opinion.
Paul Twivy, founder and chief executive of Your Square Mile, commented that the modern notion of CSR involved much more than just donating money to public projects. Communities are also looking for brands dedicating time, skills, venues and land for the good of the local community.
There are plenty of ways to connect with your community online too. For example, start conversations and build a community through social networks, create a blog that communicates your organisation's recent activity or dedicat an area of your website where you share useful things with your audience. Showing that you care and want to interact is a great way to kick-start your CSR.