Since I started MWWPR 30 years ago, the agency has made an indelible mark on the PR industry. We’ve been fearless innovators, won countless awards, and created game-changing work for our clients. Still, when I reflect on all we’ve done, what I’m most proud of is that we’ve never lost touch with our founding values and culture, which has always included a tireless ethic of giving back and having social purpose.
Socially Responsible Companies & The #GivingTuesday Movement
In light of Thanksgiving, the notion of giving thanks is particularly meaningful, especially today on #GivingTuesday. For those unfamiliar, #GivingTuesday kicked off in 2012 as the brainchild of the UN Foundation and 92nd Street Y in New York as a response to the consumer-oriented focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The idea – and a rather brilliant one – was that following the most lucrative retail sales days of the year, millions of people, businesses, and charities around the world could unite around finding ways to give to charities and communities, both near and far. This was the start of a global trend where socially responsible companies led the charge.
Although MWWPR’s culture of social purpose exists 365 days per year, in recognition of our 30th anniversary, we wanted to do something special to amplify our impact and continue our tradition to “matter more” in our local communities. So today, our 200 employees across eight offices are supporting the #GivingTuesday Movement with an agency-wide #MatterMoreDay.
What’s really important about #GivingTuesday is the opportunity for businesses to tap into their own social purpose and tell the stories that matter, incorporating that purpose into the DNA of the company. Socially responsible companies have happier and more productive employees.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is becoming the greens fee shaping the business landscape. It is only one key ingredient to having a purposeful brand. It is without a doubt that employees, consumers, business partners and other stakeholders increasingly look beyond “products and services” to determine whether the corporate brand is one in which they want to align. As such, brand purpose and corporate responsibility is more than a driver for business growth; it is a critical differentiator when so many companies are struggling to stay profitable and relevant.
Social responsibility and purpose is what makes companies matter more to their constituents and what gives brands an opportunity to distinguish themselves as thought leaders and social change champions. CSR and brand purpose are critical components of business performance and workplace culture, especially in the age of the Millennial.
Case in point – by 2030 millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce and we know that they have an increasing desire to shape where they work. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016 titled “Winning over the next generation of leaders,” young professionals choose organizations that share their personal values. This poses a significant loyalty challenge to many companies whose Millennial workforce wants employers to focus more on people and purpose vs. just profits.
It is clear that companies need to move from CSR focused only on employee volunteering to a sustainable business practice of social responsibility and purpose. I’m glad to say that more and more of our clients are embracing a social purpose and recognizing that CSR is good for business, creating value for all stakeholders – from shareholders to business partners and employees alike.
Regardless of whether you call it citizenship, social responsibility, social purpose, sustainability or any other name, the democratization of storytelling has changed the traditional rules of corporate reputation. As a result, genuine commitment to corporate responsibility is now the greens fee for sustainable consumer and corporate brands. Socially responsible companies thrive on the positive energy that doing good brings to the productivity of the business.
I’d encourage you to follow the MWWPR team on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram through #MatterMoreDay to see what we’re up to in communities near and far. If anything else, I hope this post has inspired you to join us in finding your own special way to give back this #GivingTuesday and make a difference in your community and the world.