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Social Activism: Practicing authentic corporate social responsibility

Social Activism

The ability to gather infinite knowledge with a simple Google search has changed our lives. In fact, a world of possibilities was opened to us with the invention of the internet alone. 

We can now research and find information about almost anything (let us know if there’s something you CAN’T find on Google). But, with this superpower at our fingertips comes a certain responsibility to know what's going on in the world and to learn how we can help.


The small steps

If you think about corporate social responsibility (CSR), brands such as Disney or Patagonia might come to mind. However, it’s not always the household names that make the biggest impact.

Some of the most impactful movements started with much less leverage than that of big brands. For example, If you’re a small business or entrepreneur, it’s feasible to connect with your local community and your employees -  both of which can be great assets to achieving your CSR goals. 

The ‘Move for Lex’ initiative was started by the family of triathlete, Alexa, who was tragically injured in a cycling accident. Using social media, and with the help of their local community, the family has raised over $160,000 in donations to provide comfort and care to families with loved ones in the ICU. 

Even Disney would have started small with its Social Responsibility strategy. You can also start with small steps. Write down your values and personal beliefs. Research how you can make a difference. Talk to your team and implement (It could be as easy as eliminating all plastic from your office)!


#Trending or not?

Often individuals and brands show their support for causes when it’s trending. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement saw many celebrities posting black squares to their Instagram feeds and standing up for equality when a quick search revealed racial slurs in their Twitter history. 

By all means, join in on the story sharing - but make sure that isn’t the only thing you do to mitigate the issue. If it is, then your contribution is just for show.

The moral of the story here is that you have to be authentic about your values. If you support the Zero Plastic movement, then that should be an integral part of how your business works. It should never just be surface level.

People can always tell if you’re being authentic or not! We just have some sort of spidey senses that let us know…


Who (actually) cares?

As consumers - and those most likely to be joining the workforce now or in the near future - 76% of millennials research whether a company is being authentic about its stand on social or environmental issues before they buy.

That means that the digital generation, those with the natural inclination to create viral TikToks and march for causes they believe in, can be a source of scrutiny or the perfect ally for your brand.

If you are one to believe it when you see the statistics, then here are some more eye-opening figures highlighting who actually cares. In 2020, 93% of employees believed that companies must lead with a greater purpose than the service/product they sell. In 2019, 77% of consumers were motivated to purchase from companies that were committed to making the world a better place. 

So, next time you see a #movement trending on Instagram, think about whether or not you support this movement behind the scenes before you reshare it. Honesty and transparency are what are important. If you care about it - your business, your actions, and your way of life should reflect that.