Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance domain is growing in strength in the world. Behavior change communications is essential for gaining commitment and making progress. the 4th edition of the CSR Communications Series, Sangeeta Robinson – Sustainability and Inclusion Lead, PVR Ltd and independent consultant, discusses the power and potential of this evolving domain.
Sangeeta is a sustainability and communications leader with over 15 years in leadership roles and numerous prestigious awards and accolades to her credit; She is a co-author on the UN SDG Corporate Guidebook Series – a project of Sherpa Institute of Sustainability and a pioneer of Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility (CISR) in India as a CISR Expert – Advanced Placement.
This series invites CSR practitioners to share perspectives on the role of communication in showcasing the organization’s citizenship intentions, involving employees in driving social change and making a difference to employee engagement and the world.
1. How is CSR/sustainability defined by your organization? How important is CSR communications for your organization and why?
An organization’s responsibility to various stakeholders spanning Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. Communications around sustainability is significantly important at PVR.
2. How does your organization communicate CSR? What methods, channels and resources do you use?
Usually through the media. However, in my Consulting space, I see a three-pronged use of Communication around and Corporate Responsibility. 1. Internal Communications: To inform and engage employees with/in social projects to enhance pride of association, involve employees and their families and create internal ambassadors. 2. Communication with community to influence and change behaviors using innovative and non-conventional methods depending on the target audience and messaging. 3. Stakeholder Communication with investors, vendors and suppliers, partners etc.
3. Is there a dedicated team or individual for this role? If yes, what skills do they have and what skills does your organization value most?
I’d rather answer that for me. Essentially, a deep understanding of both Corporate Responsibility and Communications in addition to an understanding of various stakeholders and their influence triggers.
4. Are there budgets allocated to CSR communications and to what kinds of activities does the organization invest most on?
It’s part of the overall communications budget, no separate head.
5. What trends do you observe with CSR and related to communicating with internal stakeholders?
Behavior change communication is gaining significance and so is ESG communication. As far as internal stakeholders are concerned, the focus differs from industry/ company.
6. Share how CSR communications is practiced at your organization – who leads it, how is it organized and what are the principles you follow?
Our Communications and CSR is led by the same person. However, Business Sustainability is headed by me and I have been leading the communications for it too.
7. Describe a campaign you are proud of, that resulted in business outcomes or impacted social goals?
At Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, we used behavior change communication tools to influence and reduce power theft and increase revenues by influencing people to opt for the regulator’s low-cost scheme for slums.
8. What advice do you have for CSR practitioners to communicate effectively?
Understand each audience needs, devise target specific communication messaging, use target specific tools. There is no one size fits all solution.
9. What advice do you have for those aspiring to join this evolving domain?
Understand the 5 Ws and the H of communications.
10. How can organizations get better with CSR communications?
They can awaken the responsibility consciousness in everything every employee does. Corporate Responsibility is every employee’s responsibility.
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