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The ever-increasing citing of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in marketing and public relations is not the work of creativity but of an evolution in the approach to customer, society, environment and supply chains that companies have taken over the last 30 years. CSR and responsible practices have become integrated in operations and strategy, reshaping the identity of many companies.
In the pursuit of responsible practices and positive social impact, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy. There are many ways companies can serve a social purpose. But making a long-term positive contribution entails a long, hard look at corporate responsibility and engagement in so-called ‘civil learning’ – learning along organizational and societal dimensions that are specific to an organization.
By approaching CSR in their unique, idiosyncratic ways, not only do companies strengthen their connections with society and the environment, but they find unique opportunities for improvement and positive impact that are both specific and authentic.
CSR efforts are, therefore, never a cliché since every organization is unique by its value proposition. Such efforts portray an organization with a unique identity and purpose and, on the screen, they are powerful tools for connecting with audiences. Lastly, a CSR film is the uncompromised outcome, the spillover from corporate responsibility, not the goal itself.
The effectiveness of CSR films is not only due to the uniqueness of their story, but also has to do with the psychology of the audience. According to the study 'The New Science of Customer Motivations' published in the Harvard Business Review, the best strategies for emotionally connecting with customers are those that involve multiple functions in the company’s supply chain. Customers are emotionally connected with the brand when it fulfills their deep and unconscious desires such as: confidence in the future, quality of life, protection of the environment and security.
The emotional and authentic dimension of CSR films is behind their paramount success in marketing and public relations.