• September 15, 2022
  • Capitol Canary

Corporate Social Advocacy: Taking a Step Beyond CSR

More and more, businesses are understanding the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and creating an environment that encourages corporate social advocacy (CSA). A CSA campaign can encourage employees to become more embedded into the social fabric of the community by taking a stance on relevant local issues. Here we cover the details of CSA, including examples and how your organization can get involved.

What is Corporate Social Advocacy?

Corporate social responsibility generally refers to a company’s efforts to make choices and engage in practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment and community. Corporate social advocacy takes it a step further. With CSA, companies actively engage in efforts designed to help the community and will even put their reputation on the line to take a stand in favor of or against certain laws and policies.

Modern corporations are realizing they can no longer stay on the sidelines when it comes to issues of social import, both nationally and within their local communities. Such issues often affect their employees and prospective customers, whom these organizations rely on. Businesses that fail to engage in CSA may even experience negative impacts and publicity. More people are realizing that businesses do not exist in a vacuum. A business’s choices and actions can have direct effects on people, politics, and the environment.

Businesses today have a corporate social responsibility to get involved in local politics. As a large entity, these businesses have more power and influence than individuals do and can leverage that influence to great effect when it comes to sociopolitical issues and driving societal-level change.

Best Examples of Corporate Social Advocacy

CSA can come in many shapes and sizes, from small endeavors to full-blown campaigns. Here are just a few of the best examples of impactful social corporate advocacy we’ve seen recently:

Tommy Hilfiger creates free social justice short courses with FutureLearn

Premium clothing designer and manufacturer Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with digital education platform FutureLearn to launch a series of five free online short courses about allyship, advocacy, and activism. Each course is two weeks in length, taught by activists, and designed to help participants realize their own power and become agents of change.

Yoplait sends a message of support to all mothers

Popular yogurt brand Yoplait created the following video about the challenges of motherhood. The video illustrates how moms are judged for both what they do and what they don’t do, touching on breastfeeding vs formula feeding, working vs staying at home, and more. The ultimate message is one of support and celebration of all moms, with a social media tag of #MomOn

Airbnb supports local travel and economic growth

The online marketplace for short-term rentals announced partnerships with global destinations for its Go Near campaign to support local economies through travel. The goal of this initiative is to help combat some of the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted the travel and vacation industry, particularly in local and smaller economies. The Go Near campaign helps travelers plan vacations closer to home, which many people prefer and are more comfortable with since the pandemic struck.

How Can My Brand Get Involved in Corporate Social Advocacy?

CSA not only helps people and communities, but it can lead to a positive work culture and shine a favorable light on your business. If you’d like to get your brand more involved in corporate social advocacy, below are some ideas for how to get started.

 

Get involved with social media advocacy

Social media has provided organizations with a powerful new way to reach a wide audience and spread important messages. You can create a short video message, an infographic, or a call to action, share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch as it spreads.

Some efforts may be successful on their own, organically gathering momentum, while others may be helped along via paid channels. However you go about it, using social media to spread a message and gather support can be extremely effective and tends to reach far more people than email, text messaging, and other forms of sharing.

 

Create specific promotions related to debates, causes or controversial issues

Show that your business is in-the-know and aware of the latest issues. Targeting your efforts around current debates and legislation will make them more impactful and relevant. Of course, keeping up with the goings-on in congress and with local policymakers can be a full-time job on its own.

This is where advocacy platforms and tools like Capitol Canary come into play. Our advocacy software includes local and federal intelligence streams that can alert you when legislation related to your causes of interest is in the news. Then you can create a campaign and take action when the issues are top of everyone’s mind and when such actions are most likely to have an impact.

 

Survey customers and employees to better understand their opinions

Ideally, your CSA efforts should focus on issues of import to your customers and employees. They’re the ones you serve, and they’re also the ones who keep your business up and running. Employees are happier if they feel their employer cares about issues that affect them. The same is true of customers.

You can gain insight into what’s most important to those you serve with a simple survey. Once you’ve identified the most pressing issues, you can focus your advocacy campaigns around those. Creating a survey is something you can do on your own, but many advocacy platforms have the functionality to do so as well. In fact, these platforms are more likely to know just what questions to ask to get the most useful and actionable feedback.

 

Spotlight changemakers or historical valuable personas/events.

Build a brand-wide understanding of why you value specific changemakers and thought leaders. Whether you write up an article or create a video, make sure it tells a compelling story that your audience will relate to and be inspired by. It should be engaging and shareable and illustrate how your brand agrees with what they stand for.

 

Advance Your CSA Efforts

Whenever you’re ready to create a plan for implementing social advocacy in your business, the right tools can make all the difference. Schedule a free demo to learn how Capitol Canary can help advance your business’ impact on people, politics, and the environment.