How Smart Companies Build Relationships with Millennial Audiences in 2016 (hint: CSR)

December 21, 2015

By Alison Hanby, Business Wire

Company reputation is key when trying to attract Millennial interest in your brand.

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Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S., and when it comes to supporting corporations, they pay attention to the transparency, authenticity, and reputation of the companies and brands they associate with.

As Millennials rise in the workforce and obtain greater buying power, they look for like-minded companies to partner with. Are you making it easy for them to choose your organization?

Here are 6 ways companies of all sizes can capture Millennial attention through Corporate Social Responsibility:

  1. Promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) What is CSR? CSR encompasses how a company contributes to society and protects the environment; a company’s stewardship and transparency; and even how a company improves quality of life for their employees and the community they serve. Your company’s CSR program sends an important message to stakeholders and impacts consumer behavior, investor behavior and a company’s perceived value in the marketplace.
  1. Define Your Organization’s Purpose – Of course the top goal of most organizations is revenue, but that is not the same as your organization’s purpose. Today’s companies need to find a way to connect with these audiences.  For your first step in promoting your CSR programming you should start by showcasing the impact your business will have on the lives and welfare of those you serve. A clearly defined company purpose will encourage brand loyalty and promote authenticity, as well as attract and retain employees.
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Rutgers Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012

In a recent Rutgers University Study approximately 40% of Millennials interviewed noted it was “very important” to them to have a job where “they can make an impact on causes or issues that are important.” Define your purpose and shout it from the rooftops. Weave it into your news releases, brand content, website and more.

  1. Be Local – When looking to build your own CSR program, start by looking in your own backyard! Participation in your local community allows you to make smaller contributions that create big results. Stories of your authentic local participation will spread and word of mouth accolades will positively impact your company reputation, attracting Millennial consumers and employees, while balancing consideration for the shareholder.
  1. Be global The next step in a strong CSR program is to showcase the impact of your company and organization’s CSR promise on the world. Take a minute to define how your company decisions are bettering the world at large.
  1. Promote Your Good Works! Once you have defined your CSR programming, the next step is to promote it widely. Many companies not only designate a specific section of their online newsrooms to highlighting their CSR efforts, they utilize news releases to promote and amplify their good works and the impact they are generating on the world at large.

Leverage all the tools at your disposal to promote your good works. Company websites, social media and news releases are a perfect way to tout your corporate environment or your community involvement. Millennials are tech-savvy multitaskers switching from computer to tablet to smart phone in the blink of an eye, so why not launch an informative attack from all fronts?

  1. Involve your Millennial employees
    and give them the opportunity to lead, or at least inform your efforts. Your reputation depends on it. By embracing this new generation of employees and understanding how they think and behave, you will attract the Millennial customers and successfully grow your business.

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One suggestion is to offer a millennial employee the opportunity to take the reins on one of your social media pages for a week.  The freedom and responsibility to express your company’s purpose will increase loyalty, empower, and involve. It will help to cultivate your cause as well as contribute to that employee’s sense of connection to your purpose.  He/she may even share on a personal page, immediately amplifying your message and brand.

Today’s Millennials have access to more information and resources than ever before. When they search for good works, is your company information going to visible? Take the time to build your CSR program, to not only increase interest in your business, but to attract the buyers of the future.

Interested in learning more about promoting your CSR programming? Let us know.  Liked this post? Click here to share it on Twitter!


Less Transparency = Less $$$?

April 12, 2010

We’ve written a lot at Business Wired on the subjects of disclosure and transparency, including the causal relationship between increased communication and capital market benefits.  Looks like there’s even more evidence for transparency being good for companies’ bottom lines — and for lack of transparency hurting them:

After 11 years of publishing a list of the best corporate citizens, Corporate Responsibility Magazine plans to introduce in its April-May issue, out this week, its first-ever “black list” of the worst companies, or those that are the least transparent.

Transparency, as the magazine defines it, means making information about practices like employee benefits, climate-change policies or philanthropic efforts publicly available.

Dirk Olin, editor in chief of Corporate Responsibility Magazine, notes that, when compiling data for the article, they were able to find 30 corporations with no relevant data at all on those topics available publicly.  That group includes such corporations as clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and weight loss specialists Weight Watchers.

And what does that mean for shareholders of those companies?

The best corporate citizens list . . . had a total return on shareholder value of 2.37 percent over three years. But the 30 worst had a negative 7.38 percent return.

“Our aggregate analyses,” Mr. Olin said, “make a strong argument for the business case for transparency.”

Corporate Responsibility’s full “Black List” will be published next Wednesday, April 24.


Corporate Social Responsibility Update

February 2, 2010

The piece below was authored by our friend Hank Boerner, Chairman of the Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. on the newly approved SEC guidance relating to climate change risk.  Feel free to contact Business Wire with any questions regarding this update.

SEC DECISION RAISES THE BAR FOR CORPORATE (ISSUER) DISCLOSURE ON SUSTAINABILITY RISKS

One more shoe drops – this one a size 15 or more – in the rising and accelerating importance of ESG & Sustainability corporate key performance indicators and ESG-related factors for investment management and financial analysis, as well as for corporate senior executives, boards, and management specialists (e.g., investor relations officers, legal counsel, corporate secretaries, ESH managers, marketing officers).

On January 27, 2010 the SEC Commissioners approved an “Interpretive Release” (issuer guidance) on existing disclosure requirements related to business risk on the issue of climate change. (The vote was 3-2 along political party lines.)

The SEC did not make statements on, recognize, or endorse positions (pro or con) on climate change. It did not create new legal requirements or modify existing requirements. It did not refine the definitions of materiality to include “climate change” or “global warming.”

The SEC decision, says Chair Mary Schapiro, “…will help public companies in determining what does and does not need to be disclosed…will provide clarity and enhance the consistency of disclosure…the discussions, debates and decisions taking place in the USA and elsewhere on this topic have implications under our existing, long-standing disclosure rules…”

Four critical areas were addressed:

  • The Impact of Legislation and Regulation (corporate disclosure issue: how will these if proposed or adopted affect the company?)
  • The Impact of International Accords (the EU has “carbon” regulations; “Cap & Trade” legislation is being considered by the federal government; global accords could follow – disclosure issue: how would/do these affect the company?)
  • Indirect Consequences of Regulation Business Trends (disclosure issue: what legal, technological, political and scientific developments [regarding climate change] may create new risks or opportunities for the company?)
  • Physical Impacts of Climate Change (disclosure focus: the company should evaluate the actual or potential material impacts of environmental matters on their business. Note that the SEC has mandated certain environmental disclosure over the past 30 years.)

Read the rest of this entry »


New on Twitter: Corporate Social Responsibility News

November 6, 2009

You may have noticed a new addition to the “Follow Us on Twitter” box over at the right:  @BWCSRNews.  Anna-Christina Cabrales, our Global Disclosure & Financial Reporting specialist, will be tweeting the latest in Corporate Social Responsibility news from Business Wire as well as links to other CSR-related topics around the Web.  Make sure to follow her and keep up on everything CSR!


Target the World with Your Financial News

March 26, 2009

The upcoming G20 summit meeting in London, at which world leaders will gather to discuss the global economic situation, shows perfectly how the worlds of business and finance don’t stop at national borders.  Your company’s or organization’s news can have an impact around the world, so it’s crucial to target markets outside the US with your economic news.  Here’s a look at just a few of our options for reaching your targets internationally:

globe_lg1Global Financial Media:  Target media, investors and key financial newspapers, trade publications and news outlets in 117 countries and translation into more than a dozen languages.

Asia-Pacific Financial Media:  Target key broadcast and print media, as well as financial newspapers, trade media and websites, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  Includes full-text translation into four languages.

Europe Financial Media: Send your news to 30 nations, including all of the EU members, Russia and key markets in Eastern Europe.  Reaches consumer and general media plus hundreds of financial-specific publications with translation into five languages.

London Metro:  Reach print and broadcast media throughout the London area, site of the G20 summit, via the Press Association, the national news agency of the UK.

Public Policy Wire:  Don’t forget to target government policymakers and other opinion leaders in the US with news that impacts public policy.

CSR Circuit:  Finally, publicize your corporate citizenship efforts with distribution to leading Corporate Social Responsibility publications and thought leaders, Socially Responsible Invesment funds,  academics, activists and financial analysts.

For a complete list of distribution options visit our Distribution Catalogue, or contact your local bureau for pricing and options.


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