UNO March 2016

Daring to innovate by communicating CSR

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Companies are increasingly aware of their commitment to the environment in which they operate. However, this commitment has a special meaning when linked to our commitment to our people, the real driver of our need to create initiatives that make a difference, creating significant social impact.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility should currently place people at its core, as the true protagonists, and their values as the articulating axis

Can you innovate in areas where consequences are so serious as in, for instance, road safety? Is there room for an innovative discourse in an area where so many companies have already contributed a sound and necessary vision? And, what’s most important, how can we currently capture the attention of information-saturated audiences so that they become involved, reflect, and talk about social issues such as this?

15_1Any reflection on the areas in which companies develop their Corporate Social Responsibility should currently place people at its core, as the true protagonists, and their values as the articulating axis. This shift in perspective from a utilitarian view of CSR as an enhancement to our own role as organisations means finding a story that can captivate these people, encouraging them to play the central roles to which they are entitled. We can all agree, for example, on the need to save lives on the road, but if as a company we are unable to write a story that arouses our stakeholders’ curiosity, we will hardly be able to generate support and empower the communities that we address to turn every individual into a real Road Safety ambassador.

An innovative narrative in an area also frequently requires innovative communication tools that support its invigoration. The need to combine emotional, rational, and experiential criteria in the story we want to tell requires us to dare to experiment with new formats. Today’s sophisticated audiences require transmedia storytelling that enables them to find a differential plus in each contact point without missing the main thread of a story that should connect with their values. The use of new narrative tools such a gamification, web series, brand films, and experiential events are not merely the mainstays of commercial communications; they can also help us effectively communicate our stories in the field of CSR.

The use of journalistic and entertainment techniques in the creation of our CSR narratives can make the difference between engagement and passivity

The use of journalistic and entertainment techniques in the creation of our CSR narratives can make the difference between engagement and passivity, but we should never forget that it is the power of a story that makes the basic difference between just another plan and a successful one. Ultimately, the capacity to change to better realities should be our best reward and the main motivation when innovating in our way of developing CSR.

Juan Llovet
Communications and Sustainability Director at Gonvarri Steel Industries / Spain
He is the Communications and Sustainability Director at Gonvarri Steel Industries. He began his career at FCC - Cemusa, where he was the Head of the Portuguese subsidiary, and then took charge of the Marketing, Communications, and International Expansion department. In 2000, Llovet joined Gonvarri Steel Industries & Gestamp Renewables, where he is the head of the communications and sustainability department. His main goals include finding new ways to differentiate the company from a responsible and sustainable point of view. [Spain] @JuanLLovet

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