Corporate Responsibility: How To Make Social Sense
If your company were given the chance to forgo $2 billion in sales to do the right thing, would it? Most wouldn’t. CVS did exactly this by ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide last year. Considering they are the largest pharmacy healthcare provider in the U.S. according to their website, this makes one wonder why they ever sold them in the first place. But better late than never.
Although it was more a strategic move to align with the rebranding efforts of CVS Health than a purely altruistic measure, it nevertheless sent a positive message to the public that they care about the health of their customers.
Big businesses aren’t the only ones who are practicing corporate social responsibility. You’ve probably heard about Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, announcing earlier in 2015 that he would raise his staff’s salary to a minimum of $70,000 over the next three years. Every staff member- all 120 of them. Price says an article he read on happiness inspired him.
The unsurprising publicity surrounding this move sparked the inevitable conversation around those who are forsaking filling their own pockets and, instead, spreading the wealth. This move might appear to make little fiscal sense—in fact, Price has encountered some backlash beyond reduced profits, losing a few clients for political reasons and taking a big hit to his personal wealth—but it does makes social sense. It shows that the company truly cares about its employees and sends a positive message in the fight against income inequality.
How Your Company Can Do It
The above examples feature dramatic actions on a corporate scale. But a company doesn’t have to change its business model in order to promote the common good. If you work for a healthcare organization, by definition your employer is already helping society. But it can do more. It can empower its people to do their own part in making the world better.
How does BPD practice corporate social responsibility? Each year our team has focused on helping our local community by bundling and matching individual donations to a nearby humane society as well as to the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
We also organize a school supplies drive, participate in a 5K with proceeds going to the United Way and volunteer for various other programs along the way. It’s not just corporate philanthropy; it’s a culture encouraging each of us to be generous and kind. Practice Humanity is a core part of our BPD Basics.
Companies who align their values to benefit society ultimately connect with their community while promoting their own brand. It’s a win-win situation. Does your company make corporate social sense?
At the time of this post, Sarah Brown was the Executive Assistant to the CEO at Brown Parker & DeMarinis and the agency’s social media content director.