9 Questions for Strategic Social Responsibility and Corporate Event Marketing

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9 Questions for Strategic Social Responsibility and Corporate Event Marketing

Is corporate social responsibility a line item in your corporate event marketing budget? Or is it an afterthought? [Tweet this!]

Companies and institutions are thinking more and more about corporate social responsibility (CSR). But the organizations having the most success with CSR take a strategic approach. And as corporate event planners, we need to do the same.

Companies that incorporate social impact as an integral part of their business strategy build stronger brands, attract more committed employees and develop more durable connections with customers. And as events can be expressions of the company brand, taking the same approach to CSR makes sense.

So at Wilsonwest we believe social impact should be an integral component of every event we create. And it must be strategic, because the “one-off” approach can be dangerous. Donating used flowers after the event to a random local charity may be a nice thing to do, but if there isn’t a logical connection between the donation and the corporation, the gesture can appear inauthentic. A PR stunt.

The “easy” way to avoid this is to marry corporate client initiatives with the event and find a fit. And I put ”easy” in quotation marks because it isn’t always easy. It takes thought, research, strategizing.

Sometimes, linking the social impact to a corporate event is obvious, for example, an environmental organization striving for a zero waste event. But the right social impact activity isn’t always apparent.

We believe CSR should be a line item in the event budget, as important as the food and transport. [Tweet this!] So we embed corporate social responsibility directly into our event production model, asking impact questions upfront, such as:

  1. How does the corporation define its community?
  2. What CSR activities has it undertaken and how do they fit with the corporation’s mission?
  3. How does the corporation define CSR? How do their employees define it? Their CEO?
  4. Does the corporation have a CSR strategy?
  5. What does success look like? 
  6. What do you want people to do or think as a result of this conversation/initiative?
  7. Why does this matter?
  8. What is the cost to Wilsonwest and customers?
  9. How do we do this – create a separate entity or build into business model? (walk our own talk!)

Our goal is not just to create a flawless event. We want to provide opportunities for our clients to enhance their business and social value, and to leave a legacy. And through events, we can infuse energy and excitement into the business and its CSR initiatives.

In addition to helping our special events community with CSR, we support a variety of local community organizations in San Francisco. We’d like to learn more about the organizations you support and why. 

So as a fundraiser, through the end of June, we’re donating $1 for every like we get on our Facebook page to a selected Bay Area non-profit, up to $1,000. Please visit our page and tell us about an organization you support and how they inspire you.

We will select one to receive our gift.

Thanks for sharing.

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