The concept of CSR, the idea that an approach to conducting business includes social and environmental benefits for the better good of society, is hardly new. The thrust of this blog then, is to see how video can be used not just to publicise an organisation’s CSR work, but also to provide extra impetus for the intended beneficiaries. It’s about shining the light on where it should really be.
The great Victorian philanthropists like John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie certainly knew how to give back to society. But whilst there are plenty of hospitals and universities that stand today as monument to their generosity, neither man so far as I know devoted themselves to lengthy CSR reporting. Their good works did, however, receive widespread media attention which, in itself, helped to draw attention and additional funds to the projects they supported.
By focusing on the beneficiary rather than itself, the business or organisation that uses video to record its CSR initiative can throw its own weight and influence behind an online media campaign. This could only help to help attract additional support for the project. And that in turn would demonstrate to an increasing cynical generation that true altruism really is at play. In practical terms then, an organisation would use its own channels and reach to drive video content towards its various stakeholders.
A compelling, original video might help raise funds or raise awareness of a particular issue, but it can come in other forms. As well as the standard linear video, live streaming content coupled with a social media campaign can create noise and have instant impact.
The conversation is immediate and shareable, and can raise the profile of both the sponsor and the charity in the public perception.
Any company-sponsored video that focuses on a charity’s campaign would still, of course, be a major contributor towards the company’s own 360 degree brand awareness. It would certainly have the happy consequence of showing the organisation’s charitable initiative in a more credible, positive light than, say, the self-congratulatory and lengthy CSR report. John D. Rockefeller was a stickler for efficiency and he hated waste. I’m sure he would approve!
About the author
Andrew is Spectrecom Films’ managing director. He has 15 years’ experience as a writer and director of drama, documentaries and branded content.