CSR: ignore at your peril

Image of a hand holding skyscrapers on a patch of grass with a background of hills and floating butterflies, people, electric pylons and more to symbolise CSR

CSR is the link between a business and the community. When a company invests its efforts in projects that truly benefit from their experience – that’s when the magic happens, says Victoria Carroll, account marketing director with creative agency Michon

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often, rather unfairly, seen as a way for companies to puff their chests out, parade their goodwill, and engage in a ‘I’ve provided more than you’ race against competitors.  

Engage in conversation with any business-minded person and chances are they will soon tell you about the importance of building ties with the local community and investing back into the area where it operates.

Part of this falls under CSR, which is the moral responsibility of an organisation or business to contribute sustainable development to its wider environment, for example offering work experience and company-wide fundraising.

These approaches help build reputation and strengthen ties within the local community and beyond. It’s not just about ego though, it’s about utilising the skills within your business to give something back that would make a tangible difference. For example, here at Michon we’ve helped brands’ strategic development, often from scratch.

There’s little doubt smaller businesses need the support of local communities and, with experience in the workplace now imperative for young talent, this ultimately benefits all concerned.

We’ve seen other industries across the UK decline due to skills shortages. It’s vital, therefore, to invest in people to achieve a positive impact on the local area, the UK economy, and specific sectors for years to come.

CSR and the creative sector

As a creative agency, we’re fortunate that our industry is booming. This sector is one of Britain’s key business strengths with the latest employment figures showing that one in every 11 people now works in this field, equating to circa two million people across the UK.

The industry alone generates billions of pounds to the economy every year and the talent pool is brimming with excellence and flourishing more than ever.

Creative companies are now engaged in a new battle to attract the brightest and freshest talent. CSR programmes help provide the perfect platform to develop these people, and put your business at the forefront of their minds in a somewhat saturated market.

Here in Nottingham, our city holds the unwanted accolade of having the lowest retention rate for university graduates in the UK. It raises the question of how much talent has already slipped through the net.

It’s stats like these that underline the importance of being involved in CSR programmes. We’ve been working alongside Nottingham’s Young Creative Awards for a while now, which provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with young people, helping shape and develop their futures in the industry.

It’s the sort of project that benefits everyone and will hopefully make Nottingham a world-class creative hub where the best talent wants to be.

Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to nurture the talent of tomorrow. By giving our time and sharing our expertise we hope these young people will become naturally invested and help an already bright future shine brighter still.

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About author

Victoria Carroll

Victoria Carroll

Victoria Carroll is account marketing director for Nottingham-based full-service creative agency Michon

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