Blogs & Comment

How To Improve Your CSR Report

Annual CSR reports have become table stakes for public corporations. However, what’s astonishing is that in the short time since corporations started reporting on their CSR initiatives, their actions in this area have already begun to appear generic.
I find that CSR reports are virtually interchangeable with annual reports (read boring) and, like annual reports, read by very few people. However, annual CSR reports can provide a great opportunity for differentiation by communicating the “character” of your company’s social and environmental actions.
Last week I was asked to review McKesson’s most recent Corporate Citizenship Report. Their report was particularly well done for one main reason: they engaged their internal and external stakeholders to help tell their CSR story. The ” Our Voices” section of the web-based report includes both text and video messages from a wide range of stakeholders – everyone from the chairman to representative from McKesson’s business and community partners. The video messages in particular go a long way to creating a sense of authenticity and bringing a human dimension to the report.
Here’s what you can do to make more people pay attention to your CSR Report:
1. Give your employees and external stakeholders a prominent voice. People pay more attention to messages from their peers and you won’t appear self-serving.
2. Take advantage of the web. The McKession report uses video throughout. You could also incorporate a blog and give readers an opportunity to have a dialogue about what your company is doing.
3. Put more emphasis on what’s unique. Most of what’s reported isn’t that remarkable. If your doing something that is make sure it really stands out.