Transparency Key to Social Impact
24 February 2016 at 9:39 am
A new global CSR report points to greater transparency as the key to building consumer trust and delivering social impact.
The report by Weber Shandwick, called Always-On Transparency Report, is the second to investigate the key macro trends that are shaping the future of social impact work.
The report explored the role of transparency in building trust, credibility and the right to operate for corporations, Not for Profits, foundations and government entities.
It also looked at the new expectations that people have – as consumers and advocates – for greater transparency, especially millennials.
The report said consumers trust crowdsourcing with 51 per cent of millennials trusting user generated content more than other information on a company website (16 per cent) or news articles about the company (14 per cent) when looking for information about a brand, product or service.
“In a crowded, fast-paced world of information, organisations often struggle to break-through, connect and build meaningful relationships with key audiences,” Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact Practice, Paul Massey, said.
“In the face of overwhelming amounts of content, people rely on sources that are open, credible and trusted to guide their decisions on where to focus their attention, time and engagement.”
Massey said that today, stakeholders of all types demand more – more information, more often and with more relevance.
“They want to know how businesses impact society and where the products they consume come from. They want to know how governments steward public dollars. They want to
know how social sector organizations allocate resources to solve pressing challenges,” he said.
“In this context, organisations must earn and sustain not only the attention, but also the trust of their audiences.
He said consumers and advocates know when a brand or organisation is whitewashing its commitment to social impact and are quick to vote with their share of voice and purchasing power in real time.
“By not leading with ongoing transparency, organisations risk losing not only their trust and credibility, but their right to operate,” he said.
The report said the era of instant communication created a unique opportunity for organisations to move away from static reports to a practice of consistent reporting and engagement with key audiences.