About CSR in a pragmatic way.
I don’t think anyone has any doubts about the reasons for CSR projects: to put companies and/or brands in a favourable light (and) through “social responsibility: actions. Let’s not ignore what is already obvious, companies invest in what is profitable. Period. If they could, they would not spend money on marketing, PR, online or CSR. It’s basically an expense. Of course, expenses are still deductible and often the management evaluates three times the amounts allocated for these activities, thinking either of profit, dividends or potential investments that could have been made with that money.
For companies of a certain size and in certain fields, CSR activities can no longer be avoided and therefore the amounts spent must be used wisely. For several years now, CSR activities are more numerous. In Romania, the pioneers are, of course, multinational companies. Even today, the vast majority of CSR projects belong to these companies, but here and there we see approaches of local companies as well.
What is the pragmatic approach of a CSR project? The problem must be examined from both ends (company/brand and beneficiaries/public) in terms of benefits. As long as there are benefits for only one party, there will be no draft for the CSR project. If I were to list a few essential conditions for a CSR project to come to life, they would primarily refer to the benefits for the company/brand because they are the ones who are paying. There are just a few conditions and they refer to:
– whether the project “matches” the profile and the audience of the company/brand;
– the potential for exposing the message to the target audience.
2. Implications in society
– if it brings a real benefit to society;
– if the project is replicable (campaignable) in the future becoming a positive “emblem” for the company/brand.
3. Investments and benefits
– investments and results in media exposure measured compared to investments and results in/from the classical average (rate card and/or discounted);
– the earning potential of permanent members (they become the ‘voices’).
The rest is details, and the three considerations listed above are also a short guide for NGOs that intend to get funding from their projects.