Every company out there should know that they can be useful to the society they live in. It’s not PR; it’s DNA.
It’s not PR – it’s Part of Your Brand’s DNA
We should start this article by saying that, at KOBU, we believe every company should have a positive impact in the society they’re in. This should not limit itself to creating Corporate Social Responsibility programs to “help those in need” that only translate into advertising and PR for the company and never actually change the lives of those involved.
Now, more than ever, companies should be open to actually get some work done into helping causes they stand up for, or that they can create partnerships with.
There are plenty of examples of brands creating campaigns to show off their donations, but the best examples are those where the company does not tell anyone about what they did. Create a collaboration with an institution you believe in. Create a partnership. Get some pro bono work done. Not because you have to, or to look good, but because you believe you should.
Because that’s part of every company’s role: to make their community better, to make those who need help feel like someone, somewhere, has got their back. Institutions who benefit from those partnerships will be at ease to show their appreciation. Do not worry about what’s in it for you. Just enjoy that good feeling of helping someone.
Why Should I Bother?
In this new age of digital, there is a new standard for brands that was mainly created by (you guessed it) Millennials.
People who are now young adults have their ideals and a totally new attitude toward social responsibility – most of them expect brands to practice what they preach. If you have a clothing brand that claims to be fond of equality in which women get paid less than men, don’t expect any sympathy from your customers once word gets out. People are not attached to brands; they are attached to what they stand for and how that fulfils their inner beliefs. And customers will not give their money to people who pretend to be something they aren’t. Your cause is who you are as a company.
Most of the times, this should start from within, as companies are nothing but the people who make it work. If most of your workers have kids and need a place where their kids can stay while they work, help them either with an extra for day-care or by providing them with a place close to the office where they can easily drop off and pick up their kids, for example. This is one of the things that you can do to make some people’s lives easier; your employees will thank you in many ways.
Be the change you want to see
At KOBU, since 2014 when the agency was founded, we’ve been trying to do our share of pro bono work and collaborations with non-profit organisations. In the past, we have helped a few organisations both through pro bono work, collaborations and also through donations of our yearly profit. As a first example, we have been collaborating with Algarve Chefs Week’s Jantar Solidário for the last two years. This is a dinner ceremony whose profits benefit a few institutions that help children in the Algarve.
We also take a lot of pride in being an LGBT-friendly company. We have collaborated with ILGA – Portugal in a lot of instances; we worked with them for websites related to ILGA’s initiatives, like the website for the Arraial Pride in Lisbon; or the website for the 4th European Rainbow Families Meeting and in ILGA – Veritas auction website. This last project represented a collaboration both with ILGA and Veritas, the auction company behind this solidarity auction that sold a few works of art and art pieces in order to gather funds for ILGA’s daily activities and actions. We have also been a partner for the last 4 years in the digital communication efforts of Prémios Arco-Íris, an event that brings light to all those that stand out in the support of LGBTI matters.
And we won’t be stopping here: we already have another project in the works to develop in the coming months. This is something we care about. It’s part of our identity.
“Being able to put part of our work into this cause that’s so dear to me – as a gay man – makes me proud. It is a matter of doing our share, the best way we can, by giving back to these people that have been building the foundations of a more honest and fair society in our country. ”
This is why it matters
With this article we’re simply trying to raise awareness for other companies who might already be helping some causes, or even for those who aren’t, about the role a company can have in shaping a better world by standing up and making its voice heard.
Everyone has a cause. Everyone believes in something. We are not helpless as companies. We can matter and be the change we want to see in our society. Don’t be afraid to go out there and support a cause you believe in. Your contribution means something as long as you make it count.
Photo by Ana Cruz