Corporate responsibility is, as it should be, high on the agenda these days.  Companies now realise that you ignore sustainability and ethical practice at your peril.  The recent Trust Barometer Survey by Edelman showed that in the U.S and Western Europe trust and transparency are as important to a company’s reputation as the quality of products and services they offer.

However, in the current climate, where competition is fierce and globalization is king, the increasing tendency for companies to downsize operations, with an eye on the bottom line, is affecting the very area that will help them endure: communications.

If trust and transparency are key to corporate reputation, then will contracting corporate communications teams be able to dedicate the time and effort required to convey exactly what it is about their company that makes it trustworthy and transparent? It has been found that people need to hear something about a company three to five times to believe its veracity, indicating the importance of a multi-channel and multi-spokesperson approach. This takes time, energy and a dedicated, motivated team and should not be skimped on.

Business practice is evolving to meet the ever changing demands and expectations of the contemporary marketplace and it has become increasingly evident that companies that do integrate CR initiatives benefit from enhanced reputation and sustainable business in the long term. Of course, these CR initiatives should be implemented with the same rigour and excellence as traditional business practices. However, once this evolution has been achieved there’s no time to sit back and relax, on the contrary, it’s time to communicate.

You’ve earned a good corporate reputation, so now make sure that your stakeholders, customers and the media know about the good example you’re setting.  As long as this is done in consultation with experienced communications professionals and in a way that suits your business, then you will be able to witness the benefits that a combination of genuine CR and innovative communication can bring to your organisation.