Corporate Social Responsibility & The Civic 50 – And the winners are…
In the realm of public relations, any label, award or recognition is something to tout to your employees and your customers. This is particularly exciting when a company is recognized for their citizenship through their community engagement.
Another type of recognition emerged within the U.S. just last year, and it’s called the Civic 50.
The point of the list is to identify companies that best use their time, talent, and resources to improve the quality of life in their local communities. Are you ready to apply?
Last year the application process looked at seven dimensions with varying weights including leadership, community partnerships and transparency. This year, the application is streamlined to focus on five key components:
Civic Commitment — how extensively the company applies its resources to civic improvement;
Strategic Resource Allocation — how the company strategically directs assets and activates resources from other institutions and individuals to maximize community impact;
Business Integration — how a company’s community engagement activities support its business interests;
Company Policies — how the company supports community engagement through its institutional policies, systems and incentives; and
Measurement — how a company measures the social value and business value of its community engagement programs.
Who sponsors the award? Bloomberg, in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light sponsor the process. The second year of honorees will be recognized late Fall 2013.
What local businesses come to mind when you mention Civic Engagement?
On the 2012 inaugural list, three businesses with a local presence were included within the top 10, Citigroup, AT&T, and Morgan Stanley. Not surprisingly, FedEx, Allstate, Starbucks, and Target made the list too. Cummins actually earned a spot above Walmart, and Devon Energy, the newest member to join our community, landed at #41 on the list.
According to CSR Wire, the #1 company, IBM, “uses intense management involvement to combine bottom-up employee-community relationships with top-down multimillion dollar grants to contribute to neighborhood life at every level.”
Each of the companies provide volunteer hours, grant support and donations to local organizations, along with matching gifts for employee donations.
Does your work qualify you for the award? I certainly hope so! However, there’s just one small catch; you must be listed on the S&P 500 to apply.
As a small or medium sized business, don’t let the lack of an official identification or designation keep you from leveraging the PR value of touting your community engagement. Just answer one question: hypothetically, if the Readers’ Choice Awards created a category to name the most civic minded business, would your customers and employees nominate you?
The August 2013 column is provided below courtesy of Abilene Reporter-News.