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#PRSuccess: Your Employees Determine CSR Success or Fail
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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Caysey Welton (who is an Associate Editor at PR News and Folio: Magazine with a passion for converging media landscapes and ecosystem disruptors, public relations and crisis communications) recently authored a very interesting piece appearing in PR News’ Water Cooler section on why an organization’s employees determine the success or failure of a CSR program.
Titled The Success of a CSR Program Rests on Your Employees, the posting started off with a bang by saying, “Most communicators understand why CSR campaigns and corporate giving is important. Most PR pros also champion such programs, from beginning to end. However, for a CSR program to really take off and exceed expectations, a team effort is best, according to Karen B. Moore, founder and CEO of Moore Communications Group. By making your CSR program company-wide, you're enabling your employees to make an impact outside the organization, which, in turn, motivates them to stay committed to the company’s success and mission.”
I agree 100 percent with Welton’s thoughts and comments above. He goes on to offer some tips from Ms. Moore about how CSR campaigns can truly succeed:
1. Ask your team what it wants.  Whether you use a survey, a brainstorming session, or one-on-one conversations, you absolutely must consult your employees first. And while you’re at it, consider hiring a third party to do this fact-finding for you. Your team will be much more transparent with a third party than with a supervisor, with whom they may be more guarded.
2. Let your team build the plan. Buy-in from the very beginning ensures that the plan reflects the team’s needs and wants.
3. Oversee — but don’t run — the program. As the CEO or company manager, the staff needs to know you’re invested, but your team should administer the program. Task the person who is most passionate about it with managing the day-to-day operation, and set regular progress checks.
4. Evaluate regularly. At least once a year take a step back from your efforts and determine the return on investment for the company and your employees. If it’s not working, or could be better, go back to the beginning by revisiting the priorities with your team and brainstorming new ways to approach the CSR program.
As I’ve said in several of my earlier postings here on Flack Me, an organization’s employees can help drive the success (or failure) of PR programs and campaigns simply by either being involved or not involved in a product launch, being involved in their communities, or being made part of the overall internal communications efforts. Both Moore and Welton offer us some worthwhile thoughts on exemplary CSR.
What do you think? Join the conversation and share your comments as well as any success or horror stories about CSR efforts you’ve undertaken. This conversation should be about all of us. yes

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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