Friday, 26 June 2015

CSR – myths about keeping it quiet!

A couple of years ago, while CSR was considered a promoter’s prerogative and not so much a focus area for the “Corporate”, as a ‘do good’ marketing communications partner and experiential marketing company, we pitched to this one organization to support a cause which we strongly believed would be strategically viable for them to associate with. We were heard, then told that “we are already involved in CSR and are doing our bit by reaching out to nearly a million needy kids with our midday meals program and more importantly we don’t like to talk about the ‘good’ we are doing!”

Well that became the base for the existence of our exclusive, dedicated organization, “asset CSR team (ACT)”, aiming to create a paradigm shift in this area of social impact.

The example always given to us, by some of the corporates is of a mammoth, over a century old Indian Conglomerate. But in aping the giant, the basic disservice to society goes ignored. 
Many powerful connections are made with communication via different platforms. Example, would ‘Swacch Bharat’ have become a movement had the Hon’ble PM of India just quietly launched it? What if Salman Khan never carried ‘Being Human’?  What if HERO MotoCorp and Maruti Suzuki never spoke about Road Safety? Would these brands have become a household name and their causes, a movement of the masses? 

We like to call our involvement a “SOCIAL MISSION” since one of our clients said “CSR has been a formality in this country.”  Why is the good we do as a corporate kept so quiet, done hush hush and managed irresponsibly?  It’s just a necessity that needs to be fulfilled since it’s not a part of our vision and mission but just a formality!

CSR’s core power should be brought under the spotlight. Create a brand with a vision, promote it, sell it to the masses for positive impact, and involve stake holders and customers in participation.
Example - We would never have been able to control the possible HIV +ve epidemic, through corporate and individual donations for NGOs. Another example – Glance upon the polio-free mission that eradicated the virus in the country.

Today, development of the under-privileged, is no longer supposed to be just the agenda of the Government or a handful of NGOs.  In fact, the Government wants to reduce their trade deficit by pulling out up-to INR 30,000 crores from profiting corporates and reduce their social responsibility grants and budgets, and rightly so! We’d like to push for HNIs to be brought into the fold too. Hence, the government along with the PM Relief Fund ACT and take the responsibility directly!

We’d need 200 power houses to RESPONSIBLY bring down 20 key issues plaguing the country. For these causes, to make the difference, lets make it a movement, a drive “of the people, by the people, for the people!” 

About the Author :

Sanjay M Lal, is MD at Asset Communications Pvt Ltd & Founder Director at asset CSR team (ACT) - A socially responsible, exclusive, CSR Planning, Implementation & Marketing Communications Agency. 

        ·  Over 20 years of Expertise in the field of Business Creation & Management in Media, Brand Building & Marketing Communications, Experiential Marketing, Sports and allied services, Events, Entertainment, Corporate Social Responsibility and Celebrity / Talent marketing & management.

· Consulted for / pitched and executed, over US$ 1.5 billion worth of Sponsorship / Marketing association, rights acquisition & sales deals and Project Management assignments across the Indian Sub-Continent, Asia, Middle East & Africa, Europe & North America.

· Created and launched, YouWeCan, Yuvraj Singh Foundation’s Fight Cancer movement amongst various other CSR initiatives.
· Received the ‘PRIDE OF THE INDUSTRY’ Award in 2010 & the “MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD” in 2008.

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