Cause Branding Digest, April 19, 2016


5 Ways Sustainability Helps Companies Act More Like Startups
(Triple Pundit, 14.04.16)

Last month at a conference for startups in Silicon Valley, I met several people who work at large corporations and institutions. I wondered why people from Walmart, NASA and GoreTex, a company that makes waterproof fabric, were attending a conference for budding entrepreneurs. Representatives from each said they wanted to help their organization be more innovative.


Beyond the Talk: How Corporate Social Responsibility Makes Companies Operate Better
(Forbes, 12.04.16)

If you ask 50 people, “What is corporate social responsibility?” you’ll probably get 75 different answers. For me, corporate responsibility is how companies operate. It’s about how they identify and manage their social and environmental risks and footprint. Defined this way, quite a few people are impacted by CSR. The breadth of stakeholders is vast—it includes the company’s shareholders, employees, customers and business partners.


‘Brand Purpose’ Means Nothing If You Don’t Deliver
(Marketing, 01.04.16)

The successor to the mission statement is, alongside commitments to sustainability, capturing imaginations in the boardroom. But it’s about doing, rather than just looking, good.


Does CSR Create Shareholder Wealth?
(LSE Business Review, 07.03.16)

Due to increasing pressures on organisations to behave in socially responsible ways, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming a “must have” component of corporate strategy. This is a good development for the society at large as the massive rate of industrialization in the last century has placed a heightened burden on the limited resources our planet has to offer. However, the primary responsibility of managers of corporations, particularly of the publically owned ones, is not to increase social welfare but to maximize the returns on investments of their shareholders.


“With any new business deal, don’t think about how much you can afford to get—think about how much you can afford to give. A spirit of giving will allow you to get.” —Jarod Kintz


Cause Branding Digest, March 8, 2016


What Brands Can Learn from Musicians About CSR
(MediaPost, 07.03.16)

The memories are indelible. From Farm Aid to Live Aid and “We are the World,” my generation’s earliest exposure to activism was through music. When Live Aid aired in July 1985, 95% of the world’s television sets were tuned in, and an estimated 1.4 billion people watched, making it the biggest benefit concert in history. Today, musical artists like Lady Gaga, who launched her Born This Way Foundation to support the wellness of young people, and Jack Johnson, who used proceeds from his 2008 tour to fund the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, are continuing the rich history of musician-activism.


5 Hidden Benefits of ‘One for One’ Business Giving
(Triple Pundit, 01.03.16)

One-for-one giving programs through companies like Toms and Warby Parker have instant appeal beyond the quality of and demand for their products. These habitual contributions of shoes and eyeglasses for those in need, respectively, are a clear signal to customers that these companies value making a difference in society. And they are doing just that — by taking action on these values and supporting impoverished communities.


Marketing Key to Return on Corporate Social Responsibility Investment, Study Shows
(Phys.org, 23.02.16)

The decision to give to charity or develop a more sustainable product should not depend solely on a corporation’s bottom line, but it is certainly a factor. That can complicate the situation for managers who must balance between doing good and keeping shareholders happy, said Sachin Modi, an associate professor in Iowa State University’s College of Business.


5 Marketing Tips for Nonprofits to Reach Donors
(Forbes, 12.02.16)

For nonprofits, donors are a critical component for long-term success. Nonprofits rely heavily on donors for funding and support, and donor outreach is an important part of their business. Nonprofits are tasked with the challenge of presenting their organization and cause in such a way that will compel donors to take action.


“Corporate social responsibility … Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it, but because it is good for our business.” —Niall FitzGerald


Cause Branding Digest, January 19, 2016


5 Examples of Using Content to Start (Not Follow) a Trend
(Business.com, 18.01.16)

The future looks very bright when it comes to cause-driven campaigns. The Ice Bucket Challenge started it but look for other causes to have the same light hearted theme. This encourages people to participate and have some fun while generating buzz about a certain cause. Look for more companies to try these light-hearted challenges as it could do more marketing for the company than ever before with user generated content.


Giving Is Better than Getting in Business
(Forbes, 15.01.16)

Most of us have heard the adage “giving is better than getting.” What you might not realize is that it isn’t a philosophy that should be confined to your personal dealings. It’s especially true in business.


NPQ’s 9 Important Nonprofit Stories of 2015 (and What They Can Teach Us)
(Nonprofit Quarterly, 30.12.15)

We have identified nine significant trends and stories to reflect on.


Tips for Taking Your Twitter Game to the Next Level
(GrassrootsFundraising.org, 23.11.15)

Whether you’re just getting started or have been tweeting for a while, here are some tactics you can use on Twitter to reach new audiences and expand your community.


“We know that the profitable growth of our company depends on the economic, environmental and social sustainability of our communities across the world. And we know it is in our best interests to contribute to the sustainability of those communities.” —Travis Engen


Cause Branding Digest, June 23, 2015


Time to Hit the Corporate Social Responsibility ‘Reset Button’
(Forbes, 31.05.15)

It is only a slight overstatement to say that over the last several decades corporate social responsibility “CSR” programs have become commonplace within many large companies and financial institutions, particularly those who have investments abroad. This is especially the case for sizeable private foreign firms operating in emerging markets, where enterprise-sponsored initiatives aimed at facilitating economic development are seen as avenues for business to “do well by doing good.”


New Demand Driving Sustainable Food Growth
(Marketing Week, 29.05.15)

Sales of organic and locally sourced foods are on the increase and the wider food industry is once again looking to sustainability as a differentiator, with McDonald’s and KFC making new sourcing commitments, but brands still have work to do to convince consumers.


10 Steps to a Dynamic Corporate Responsibility Annual Report
(Entrepreneur, 28.04.15)

Knowing how to develop and launch a successful corporate social responsibility (CSR) program and branding your CSR efforts are two very different things. Although there are numerous ways, one of the best ways to effectively brand your program is through an annual report outlining the efforts and accomplishments of the previous last 12 months. While every annual CSR and sustainability report looks different, the goal is the same: to captivate, inform and excite your reading audience.


5 Ways to Promote a Giving Corporate Culture All Year Long
(Triple Pundit, 25.03.15)

You know that feeling you get when you’ve given someone the perfect gift. You watch in anticipation as she unties the ribbon and unwraps the box. You see her face light up with joy and excitement, and you have a connection that brings you closer together. It’s these moments of connection that create harmony in the world.


“First and foremost, you have to believe what you’re saying.” —Paul Farmer


Cause Branding Digest, May 19, 2015


Leaders: Place Company Values on the Same Level as Profits
(Triple Pundit, 27.03.15)

Carrying the weight of your business, profits, employees’ well-being and your own conscience can be back-breaking. To ease the burden, activities that aren’t directly tethered to the bottom line tend to fall by the wayside.


Can Treating Low-Wage Workers Well Become the Hot New Business Strategy?
(Fast Company, 16.03.15)

Aetna, Gap, Starbucks—and even Walmart—are making moves to pay and treat their employees better. Are we seeing the start of an age of friendlier big business, or is it all just PR?


A Vaccine for Global Warming
(MediaPost, 11.02.15)

You may not immediately see the similarities between the recent measles outbreak in the U.S., and the ever-contentious hydra-headed problem of global warming. But on closer scrutiny, both come from what may seem like an insane refusal to accept facts and act in the best interests of everyone concerned. Of course, to those who militate against vaccinating their children and attack the idea of global warming as a human-induced phenomenon, their actions don’t seem insane at all.


Cliff Majersik: You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure
(GreenBiz, 02.02.15)

One key element to getting business to get serious about climate change is to make financial markets take environmental impacts into account. Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute of Market Transformation, is trying to get investors to care about another kind of green.


“When in doubt as to what you should do, err on the side of giving.” —Tony Cleaver


The Gold Standard for Doing Good

On Tuesday night (Nov. 11), our pro bono client Hearts of Gold celebrates 20 years of fighting against homelessness with its 18th Annual Hearts of Gold Gala, at the New York Stock Exchange. The not-for-profit organization aims to foster sustainable lifestyle and self-sufficiency changes in homeless mothers and their children and help families transition out of shelters to places where they can thrive on their own. In its two decades, Hearts of Gold has assisted more than 12,000 mothers and children. To help the organization raise money to do more good works, you can buy tickets for the event—which includes a Tracy Reese runway show, live and silent auctions, music, cocktails and a moveable feast—at heartsofgold.org/20.html. ’Tis the season to be giving, and we are up to our eyeballs in giving to worthwhile groups. Please join us.

#GivingTuesday: A Dedicated Day of Giving

#GT

[Originally posted on the Holmes Report.]

Wading through all the Christmas displays while trying to find Halloween treats, I have been thinking more and more about #GivingTuesday. The concept that New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation had in mind when they launched the initiative is deliciously simple—and appealing, as we’re all still shaking off the hangover of last decade’s collective overspending, against a backdrop of the frenzied end-of-year consumerist messages.

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#GivingTuesday: One of the 50 Best PR Programs in the World

Last night, Havas PR client #GivingTuesday was honored with a Global SABRE Award in the Not for Profit category. The first step was winning a Gold SABRE in that category for the North America competition; then the 5,000-plus entries submitted from around the world were judged to determine the best—one each in 50 categories. We are one of five agencies that worked on last year’s #GivingTuesday campaign, and Havas PR is again part of the communications corps for the 2014 movement. Founded by 92nd Street Y, with the support of the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving (this year it’s on Dec. 2) that follows the consumer-centric Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We are also helping many of our other clients get involved in the effort. Mark your calendars, and get ready to give.

12 Days of Havas: Pajama Program

When my colleagues at Havas PR were looking for suggestions for organizations to help during our 12 Days of Havas effort, I immediately recommended Pajama Program. Pajama Program delivers warm pajamas and books to children in need. I have volunteered for this organization several times, so it is near and dear to my heart. Based in Westchester County and New York City, the organization now has 63 chapters in 40 states.

I met the founder and executive director, Genevieve Piturro, back in 2007, and her story for starting the organization pulled at my heartstrings. She had visited a center in Harlem, N.Y., where children whose fathers and mothers were in prison were staying. She brought about 12 pairs of pajamas with her, and the children were able to choose which ones they wanted. One girl walked up to Genevieve and asked, “What are these?” Genevieve told her they were pajamas and asked her what she usually wears to bed. The little girl responded, “My pants.” Genevieve knew at that moment what her purpose in life was going to be. I’ve actually been to orphanages with Genevieve in the past when we’ve delivered pajamas to children, and the joy that pajamas and a book give to these children is simply amazing.

Pajama Program depends on the generous support of volunteers, donors (of money, PJs and books), event hosts and pajama drive sponsors. Because of Hurricane Sandy, the number of children in shelters in our area has doubled. So this Saturday, Dec. 8, Carter’s will host a pajama drive for Pajama Program at the Carter’s children’s clothing store in Bronx, N.Y., with the hopes of collecting 1,000 pairs of pajamas.

The organization asked Havas PR to help it promote the drive further so that more consumers would attend, help and donate pajamas. As a result, we sent the event information to mommy bloggers in the New York City tristate area with the hopes that they will inform their readers about the drive, and we’re following up with them.

For more information about Pajama Program, please visit pajamaprogram.org.

The 12 Days of Havas

On Dec. 12, Havas PR will launch its new publishing wing, 120M Books, with its first e-book, What’s Next? What to Expect in 2013. To celebrate, Havas PR is launching the 12 Days of Havas, an initiative for which staff will donate time to a different charitable organization every day for 12 straight days leading up to the launch. Jay Williams, vice president at Havas PR and the creative genius behind the 12 Days of Havas, sat down to talk about his inspiration for the program, what he hopes it will accomplish and the true meaning of the holiday season.

Q: What exactly is the 12 Days of Havas?
Jay Williams:
The program is a fun play on the Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” During the 12 Days of Havas, we are working with a new charitable organization each day and donating our time and industry skills to assist them with whatever they need. It’s great because it allows us to give back during the holiday season—which is all about giving—and ramps up anticipation for the launch of 120M Books, a huge step for Havas PR.

It’s also an opportunity for us as an agency to show our creative thinking and our capabilities from a corporate social responsibility perspective. It aligns well with #GivingTuesday, too, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which the agency has really jumped behind. We even used that as our kickoff day for this initiative. Plus, we’ve recently rebranded, so it’s a great way to highlight the ingenuity and collaborative nature of our agency while doing something good for those around us.

Q: What was your inspiration?
JW:
December is a time for giving; the year is winding down and I think a lot of us reflect on how lucky we’ve been and what the year has looked like. I was thinking about how we can all give back and show the world the caliber of people we have at this agency. There is a lot of need out there, and I know I stop and think about ways in which I can ease some of that need, even just a little. So my thought process was, Why don’t we do a PR marathon that really gives back? Leading up to the launch of the e-book, I want to remind people that we are the kind of agency that cares about those around us who need a little help. We’re also the kind of agency that has creative ideas like this. And we are all part of the thought process behind 120M Books, so why not do something that truly demonstrates who we are in the lead-up to that?

So I was sitting at my desk and thinking about the time of the year, and the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” jumped into my head. Then I thought about 12/12/12, the launch date of 120M Books. After a tangent about astronomy (don’t ask), I came back to the idea of the song and realized how appropriate it is, because it is about giving. A spin on that works so well, because our creative thinking is our gift.

Q: What do you hope the 12 Days of Havas will accomplish?
JW:
I just hope that it helps. The charities we’re working with have just been so appreciative you wouldn’t even believe it. These are great organizations, but they don’t always have the Madison Avenue level of communications support. In general, most charitable groups need better media resources and strategic planning. Our role in this is to be able to help the organizations we’ve chosen with some real communications expertise and backing, and we’re ready to jump in where they need us most.

We have a track record with some of these organizations already, so we already understand some of their needs and it’s clear from our conversations with them that they really need the help. They have amazing news and amazing goals, but they don’t always have the capabilities to go about spreading the news and getting their message heard. As a New York PR agency, we sometimes take for granted everything we’re able to accomplish, whether it’s putting together a social media campaign on the fly or getting our clients on national talk shows. Working with these groups really puts it all into perspective.

Q: How will Havas PR assist these organizations?
JW:
We’ll do everything from volunteer work on the ground, like local support for Hurricane Sandy relief, to strategic programming for events, social media strategy and training, brainstorming, and campaign ideation. We’re going to help these groups secure donations, come up with long-term strategies and do media outreach for any events they are having in the near future.

Q: The mix of charities is so diverse. Why were these 12 groups selected?
JW:
The best part of the initiative is that these charities ring true to Havas PR’s value of Future First, because doing good helps create a better future. There are some that we’ve had relationships with in the past, mixed with some new ones that are near and dear to the hearts of staff members. So it’s cool, because we’re throwing a whole personal dimension into this project. The list of charities ranges from Ronald McDonald House (helping needy children) to City Harvest (working to solve hunger) to GMHC (disease education and prevention). A great thing about working with 12 charities is that we can cover a lot of different causes, and we’ve done a very good job of that.

Q: How has the 12 Days of Havas affected the agency?
JW:
Everyone has gotten really into it and is very excited about being able to use their professional talents in such an amazing way. It has also been a great opportunity for us to work with members of the agency whom we don’t always get to collaborate with. We’re seeing different sides of our colleagues that we haven’t before, and we get to see what some of their outside-of-work interests are and what causes they are passionate about. We’ve also made connections with new organizations that hopefully will blossom into strong relationships down the line.

There are so many charities out there that need us, and we can help. It’s not every day that a company volunteers its individual services. Anyone can go give a few dollars to charity, but really taking the time and donating your strengths—I think that makes the biggest difference. In the end, the 12 Days of Havas is how our agency volunteers with our hearts and our minds.

[photo: creativecommons.org/Tim Green aka atoach]