Yeats, MD at Sledge, reveals how partnering with brands and organisations whose work is underlined by doing good in the world can give you purpose, and inspire you to do and be better...
social responsibility (CSR) is on the rise within the event industry, and
large and small are taking it more seriously than ever too.
there’s the conscious brands and organisations – such as non-profits,
charities, and government departments – where this has always underlined their
operations. Whether it’s empowering our youth, championing sustainability, or
supporting those in need, they have identified a cause, and are committed to
doing good in the world.
do you go about getting on their radar, and developing long-term partnerships
Don’t just say, do
about what you’re doing from a CSR perspective is one thing, acting on it is
another. So, first things first, take the time to develop your vision as it
relates to these matters. Then, consider
the ‘how’ and create a clear roadmap which outlines your long and short-term
goals, and the steps you’ll need to take to achieve them.
process will allow you to set a clear direction, it keeps everyone accountable,
and ensures meaningful change is happening both internally and from a project
perspective. This is a process we’ve been going through, and I’m the first to
admit that it’s definitely not something you’ll achieve overnight. It’s a
continuous – yet rewarding – one.
Develop messaging that resonates
your vision and roadmap have been finalised, share it with the wider world, by developing
meaningful messaging, and a transparent communications strategy.
for consistency here, and look to mediums like your website and social media platforms,
develop slides and video content for credentials and pitches (and include
tailored, CSR-related recommendations in these documents, even if clients don’t
necessarily ask for them) and consider ways you can share initiatives with the
media, and through speaking engagements. We’re all in this together, so why not
share our knowledge and learnings far and wide?
your community updated on your progress too – whether that’s the launch of a
new policy, or sharing details of particular measures that were taken in your
offices or at an event.
Remember: we’re the event pros
the key things we remind ourselves is that we’re the event experts. This means
conscious organisations might be well versed in all things CSR, however they
look to us to provide solutions when it comes to ideating, designing, and
delivering experiences that achieve their core outcomes, such as treading
lighter on the planet, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the
audience, and sharing their key messages, while ensuring an engaging, enjoyable
and educational experience for all.
a consultative and collaborative approach, combined with an awareness of what CSR
means to them, and an in-depth knowledge of these matters on a macro level, is essential.
this is known, ensure it is woven throughout every element of the event strategy,
planning and management process.
Educate and gain buy in from your team
reports such as The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey show that matters
such as climate change are a concern for young people – it found 75 per cent of
Gen Zs and 73 per cent of millennials feel the world is at a tipping point in
responding to climate change – educating all employees, and raising awareness
of the importance of CSR is vital.
humans are wired to dislike change, so regular communication about CSR-related internal
policies and practices, highlighting their benefits, and implementing them at
incremental stages can go a long way, as can regular internal workshops, and
training sessions from external experts.
people have the information, tools and resources they need, they are more
likely to commit to making a difference not only through their work, they will
also strive to weave it throughout their daily actions on a personal and
professional level, and in conversations with all clients.
Consider your people, and your culture
my first-hand experiences and those of our team, doing work that serves a
higher purpose inspires us, and drives us to do better in our work and personal
lives. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that the work you produce gives back
in some way, and this has a positive flow on effect in that it boosts employee
morale, reduces turnover, and can even help organisations attract the right
has developed a passion for CSR-led work for this reason, and we seek out the same
qualities when it comes to hiring. If you truly want to work with conscious
brands, you need your people to feel the same way. This goes back to the
messaging stage, where communicating these values externally and in job
postings can help you recruit the people, and add even greater meaning to your
projects and business overall.
worked with several conscious organisations in recent years, I can’t recommend
it enough. Each and every one of us has a part to play in making the world a
better place, and supporting those who are committed to this, can help to bring
us one step closer to creating real change.