A few months ago Walmart landed itself in PRNewser for their corporate social responsibility efforts. Even Walmart, a store not often associated with charity, can do some good. The article talks about how Walmart is boosting their CSR and reputation with this crazy new strategy of actually helping people. Specifically using their size and rescources to provide aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. As the Harvard Business Review explains it, “Don’t Spin a Better Story. Be a Better Company.”
Walmart and other massive conglomerates seem to have noticed that instead of relying on crisis communication to bail them out of sticky situations, maybe a proactive approach would be best. Why wait until one of your garnet factories in Myanmar goes up in flames before you make a desperate call to your PR department? Why not just be proactive and create a strong CSR mission for your company that your employees and shareholders can feel excited about? I gotta hand to the big boys some of the recent CSR initiatives have been pretty impressive. Forbes has compiled a pretty good list here.
Call me idealistic, call me silly, but my favorite companies are the ones that put CSR at the forefront of their business plan. Whether it’s Starbucks with their green coffee initiative, or Ben and Jerry’s helping the honey bees, I always like a company that makes a point to practice what they preach. To check out some companies that really put CSR first, check out this AdAge link here.