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#PR: Giving Tuesday + CSR = Gr8 PR
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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Yesterday, December 3, was the second annual Giving Tuesday (#givingtuesday), which marked the beginning of what many know as “giving season.” This is a time when many organizations hope to raise the bulk of their operating funds during the last few weeks of the year.

In an article appearing in LinkedIn Pulse, Matthew Bishop noted the rise of social media has prompted what is now a word in the Oxford English Dictionary, namely, “selfie.” Bishop proposes that we all make 2013 the Year of the “Unselfie” and make an impact. He noted:

“To mark this #givingtuesday, anyone who wants to celebrate the powerful positive role that giving plays in our world is being asked to share their own unselfie on their favourite social media sites and by email.

It is really easy to create an unselfie. First, write clearly on a piece of paper what cause or causes you will be supporting this #givingtuesday. Maybe you are giving some money, or volunteering some time; you can mention more than one, if you are giving to more than one. Then, because this is about the causes not you, hold the piece of paper in front of your face, showing your personal giving pledge, and take a picture. Add the hashtags #givingtuesday and #unselfie. Then Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, and email it as widely as possible.”

This is a great idea and certainly leading to greater CSR by companies. In fact, Bishop further commented,

“Companies that took part reported that they were able to engage better with the causes that motivate their employees. And all sorts of new partnerships flourished, as people and organisations got connected to others working toward the same goal.

“#givingtuesday 2013 is shaping up to be even bigger. Already, over 8,000 organisations in all 50 US states have signed up as partners, from charities to businesses to small towns to cities. A group of charities in Baltimore have come together to pledge jointly to raise $5m on the day. New partnerships are emerging between the super rich and the rest of us as billionaires such as Steve and Jean Case and others offer to match #givingtuesday gifts with similar amounts of their own cash. And it is going global: significant #givingtuesday campaigns are under way in countries such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Argentina and Singapore.”

As I noted in a couple of my earlier postings here, many companies do indeed engage in CSR. Quite a number of organizations have a favorite project or two they promote annually among their employees and associates. However, as Bishop’s piece noted, Giving Tuesday can be a tremendous opportunity for great PR and boosting CSR internally and externally. As flacks, we should not neglect any opportunities for great PR. As we all know, great PR goes a long way towards building good brand recognition and great corporate reputation.

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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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