Why CSR activity can benefit your business

 

Giving back to the community you work in plays a beneficial part when it comes to business strategy and brand awareness. Ian Carr, from Ipswich law firm Prettys, talks to My Entrepreneur magazine about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR)

 

Investing time in CSR activities is paramount to a company’s business model. From attracting positive publicity, networking with the wider community and organisations, attaining talent within the workplace and improving client retention, there’s an abundance of areas where a company can benefit.

 

At Prettys we take all our community and charity work extremely seriously. CSR is driven from the top down. From my early days with the firm, the staff were keen to highlight their strong desire to contribute to the wider community.

 

Whether it is providing mentoring sessions at the University of Essex, or offering pro-bono work with Suffolk Law Centre, we are always looking for ways to support or drive both regional and national initiatives.

 

From my personal experiences, I believe businesses can enjoy the following benefits through suitable CSR activities:

 

Recruitment

 

If your core values – such as caring for the community – match those of an individual, you are more likely to be successful in your recruitment drives.

With issues surrounding unemployment and young people, businesses can support job creation.  By offering work experience opportunities, you can also discover talented people who may be of benefit to your business on a more permanent basis.

It can also help you win business as it demonstrates you will care about your clients in the same way you care about people.

Future clients can also see the level of care taken in a solid CSR plan and this will instil trust in your business’s quality of client attention.

 

Networking

 

CSR activity helps us to form invaluable relationships with other individuals and businesses.

We have met other professionals such as accountants, HR professionals, engineers and surveyors which in turn has resulted in new business for the firm through networking.

These opportunities also develop the skills of staff and gives employees the chance to build on their confidence levels, spending time with like-minded professionals and working on their sales and negotiation skills.

 

Social media and self-promotion

 

Describing your CSR activities on social media is a valuable form of self-promotion for your business.  Not only can you advertise your commitment to the local community, but this wider social network allows you to reach new audiences.

 

You can take advantage of user-generated content from events you have attended, giving you an extensive scope of creative content across social platforms. People are interested in what programmes are in place and the projects you are involved with.

 

This year Prettys are supporting their chosen charity GeeWizz, which provides specialist equipment to children and young people in Suffolk and Norfolk who suffer from life-threatening conditions.

So, if you are a business who has not yet engaged with CSR, the big question is why not?

 

 

By Ian Carr, CEO, Prettys

 

About the author

 

Before becoming CEO at Ipswich-based Prettys in 2015, Ian had a hugely successful career in business spanning more than 30 years. Understanding both the world of corporate and law, Ian initially trained as a chartered accountant.

 

He became the finance director of a major firm, growing the business from 90 employees to over 500 in five different offices. He has also been a director and partner at high-profile businesses.

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