How to Promote Corporate Social Responsibility with a Website

written by andrew

Many companies are doing some pretty amazing things in their communities and beyond. And yet, some of these organizations are not talking about the goodwill they are creating.

At Manoverboard, we know how important a website is in promoting the core values of any business. Below are four key (and very basic) tenants to keep in mind.

It all begins with a good design. A clean interfaces that is easy to navigate will help visitors to your site better understand the story you want to tell. A site’s message should be boiled down to let stakeholders know that your work and your purpose is serious. The website should work across all devices from phones to tablets to desktops. And it should not feature “mystery meat”, which is content or features that no one quite knows what to do with. No matter what, the key goal of your website should be to help people connect with your business. Be accessible. Provide contact information easily. Use emails and forms to help stakeholders easily get in touch and stay in touch.

Be bold about what matters. Companies often bury their CSR initiatives under the ubiquitous “About Us” tab. Why not be bold? A 2014 study by the Reputation Institute stated that “Despite the growing interest in CSR among global stakeholders, most firms still struggle to find the best way of communicating with the general public on the topic of CSR.” Showcase your social and environment initiatives on your blog and on your homepage. Not all business are engaged in doing good in the world. If you are, be proud of the accomplishments as well as the frustrations your organization has faced. Give your initiatives and challenges the recognition they deserve.

Create community. It is not enough to just tell your story. You also need to engage people with specific content on your site. Give them more reasons to connect with your business and feel part of a larger purpose. One of the top rated companies in the Reputation Institute’s CSR RETRAK study was Microsoft, which one might not typically think of as a socially responsible business. Recently, the largest image on the homepage is dedicated to a CSR campaign “Upgrade Your World” which encourages visitors to vote for their favourite cause and provides resources for non-profits. It is a flagship entry point to their site and demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making a difference in the world.

Be relevant, timely and useful. A website should not only convey the values behind your brand, but it should also engage stakeholders with information that is relevant, timely, and useful. When visitors come to a site, they want to learn more about a company and their commitment to CSR. The Reputation Institute found that “42% of how people feel about a company is based on their perceptions of the firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).” It underscores how stakeholders are assessing companies. A well-developed and communicated CSR program gives companies an edge over the competition.

If you would like help or guidance in leveraging your CSR activities for the greater good, please give us a call. As a Certified B Corporation, Manoverboard specializes in helping companies and organizations use their websites as a force for positive change.

As a member organization of 1% for the Planet, Manoverboard gives the equivalent of one percent of all revenues to select nonprofit partners that are benefiting the environment.

Manoverboard is a Certified B Corporation, which means that we meet ongoing, rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.