We love a lot of things at KWI. We love our dogs. We love our office swings. We love our wine. But ask anyone, when it really comes down to it, and they’ll tell you we LOVE our clients. So any chance we have to see them honored for the amazing things they are doing for their customers day in and day out makes us proud.
Last week, some of us had the privilege to attend a PRSA- (Public Relations Society of America) sponsored lunch in which one of our clients, Catherine Hernandez-Blades, SVP and Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Aflac, was the keynote speaker. Her address, “Why Doing Good is Good Business”, fits so integrally with what so many of our clients are building practices around today.
Our partnership at Aflac revolves around reputation data that drives business and messaging strategy together. The pillars of Aflac’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program that Ms. Blades listed in her speech are the anchors for the stories we help them craft everywhere, from social to top-tier media channels: Diversity, Philanthropy, Sustainability and Ethics.
As Ms. Blades challenged, “If you want to be recruiting and retaining top talent, you better be talking about the good you are doing. And you need to be doing it though your authentic story.”
We agree that it is no longer enough to be marketing through product, placement, promotion and price — the traditional approaches before the Digital Revolution we find ourselves in. Your story needs to be informed by experience, exchanges, environment and engagements.
How are you building the business case for an integrated CSR program? How are you arming your employees to tell that story? Are you creating a culture that can transcend immediate transactions so customers see you as good people they feel emotionally connected to? How are you reporting on your CSR initiatives in a way that becomes useful and educational for others? And amidst all of that – are you staying true to yourself and being authentic?