Corporate Social Impact Advice: Effective Communication

I recently reached out to a group of professionals who specialize in helping companies set and implement corporate social impact strategy to ask them for advice they’ve been providing clients with recently.

Several honed in on communicating effectively. Not surprising because in this complex and often treacherous environment a successful campaign can win plaudits and a slip-up can produce torrents of criticism.

Philip Haid, Founder and CEO, Public

Clients frequently ask how to effectively communicate their ESG efforts when they cover so many issues and do so many different things. Our advice is threefold: (1) define it – create a unique positioning idea that underpins all of the company’s ESG activities and commitments (2) frame it – create a simple structure (think pillars) to organize all the efforts that can ladder up to the core idea (3) name it – give the ESG platform a name and narrative to stand out and be memorable to key audiences. This may seem simple but done right, it works like a charm.

Scott Pansky, Co-Founder and Social Impact Lead, Allison & Partners


Brands cater to numerous stakeholders employees, customers and potential customers, local communities, government agencies, etc. As they implement any of their purpose programs, their goal today should be to clearly communicate on their websites, social impact reports, social media channels, and point of purchase displays and product packaging when appropriate.

The reason: Consumers are counting on brands to make a difference. Employees and brand “fans” become ambassadors to help promote the good work the brands are doing. If the brands don’t tell their story, someone else will. Today, brands are one tweet or post away from being called for making a difference or not. By sharing their impact and values to make a positive difference, they will be seen for leading the way for others.  

Whitney Dailey, SVP, Marketing and Research/Insights, Porter Novelli

Over the past 12+ months, social issues, political activism and environmental crises have dominated news and social feeds. Companies have often questioned if they should weigh in on the challenge or issue of the moment, and if so, how. This is certainly the most common question we’ve had from our clients in 2021.

Porter Novelli’s research consistently shows us that stakeholders – and not just consumers, but employees, investors and others – want companies to speak out on important issues. Yet, we’ve all seen brands that have come forward with statements or commitments that have rung hollow. We coach our clients on the intersection of purpose, brand behavior and deep stakeholder intelligence to act as guiding principles to show up in an authentic and active way on the issues that matter, in a way that is congruent with the company and its brand value.

The Tycoon Herald