Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Brand Communication, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns.Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage consulting and African Child Right Inc.Lagos Nigeria
As communication shifts to online, social/digital media is becoming a key part of strategy formulation that can aid efficient service delivery. Social/Digital media is now a cross-functional tool within any organization. This demands that companies and every professional should take keen interest in the possibility and advantages offered by this tool so they can achieve better result. Security Agencies across the globe seem to understand this better than many organizations. Social/digital tools are now becoming part of their frontline trade tools.
Any professional who still thinks social/digital is not or will not affect its service process and delivery may need to think twice before he is shown the way out. Any successful corporate social responsibility deals with and should affect certain stakeholder positively. It must also use right communication media throughout its processes. The angle of sustainability is also crucial if the initiative will have a lasting impact. Otherwise it will become a ‘me too’ project. Such ‘show off’ projects often become a drain that wastes corporate investment or resources. A major demand of successful corporate social responsibility is accountability and transparency. It must also enjoy strong engagement from the recipient. It is not just what the organization wants to do but it must suit the needs as well as create changes desired by the recipient.
It is also vital that successful corporate social responsibility must be well communicated, evaluated with an identified system of reporting. To promote right corporate social responsibility, the organization must first listen to what will be most appreciated and is considered a priority of the receivers/community. This is the danger of many failed corporate social responsibility initiatives. For instance a company once constructed roads in a community ravaged by waterborne diseases. While such initiative is great, but if the company had listened, it would have discovered sinking boreholes within the community that could give clean and lie giving water could have been much more appreciated. What is the sense in roads when community members are dying?
With the issue of stakeholders’ engagement, social media can help corporate social responsibility initiatives enjoy strong engagement. It also allows the ideas to move in the right direction. In terms of effective feedback management, listening and monitoring community voices can help in taking right steps toward making right impact. Corporate Social responsibility professionals also need to note what Harvard University CSR report posited: ‘corporate accountability and Web 2.0 share a common thread: both are rooted in interaction and thrive on engagement. This overlap creates opportunities for corporate accountability and Web 2.0 to join forces to create mutual benefits for firms and their stakeholders’.
The level of corporate Social Responsibility accountability process can be enhanced through social media communication on progress made etc. With this level of open accountability everyone can assess, public trust then becomes cheap. This will eventually make the organization enjoy sympathy during crisis or economic downturn. This may also lead to impactful partnership which can build the business or organization profile within its market.
For any successful corporate social responsibility initiative like we maintained above, two way communication, openness are vital. This is what social media represents and its application makes the service delivery cheap. How can you annex social/digital media tools?
Use Social network to listen: find out the real pain of community not only from the community leaders but from everyone. Use location tools to find out those who live within the environment and what they are really concerned about. Sometimes going to community leaders may promote personal agenda of the community leaders.
Use blog to push ongoing content about CSR initiatives: Blog can take video, audio and text. Do selected interviews on what community members feel about the initiative. Use video and transcribe it into podcast as well as text. This gives everyone, wherever they may be to appreciate the value and impact of the initiative.
Use social/digital media to communicate accountability and transparency: Photo, video, audio and text of what is already done will enhance ‘believability, trust’ of the organization and the projects. Packaging this only in traditional media may be ephemeral and man’s brain, attention span can be short live. Digital platforms will remain here till eternity.
Let us conclude this with what Steve Rochin wrote in a Financial times article ‘When we look at the tools Web 2.0 represents, they have the potential to be game changing for those working to advance a progressive vision of the relationship of business to society [that] asks companies to be accountable for things it does – good, bad, or indifferent – to the environment, our communities, employees, or individuals’.