Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The size of CR budgets

How much do corporations spend per annum on operational CR? Here are six key findings from a recent survey* with over 600 respondents of small and large companies including Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Barclays, Intel, Shell and Siemens:

- On average, CR budgets fall somewhere between US$100,000 and US$1 million.

- As expected, larger companies generally have larger CR budgets although 4o percent of respondents had a CR budget falling in to the US$100,000 to US$1 million bracket in both small and large companies.

- A plurality of companies with more than 10,000 employees (40 percent) spend just as much as a plurality of small companies (also 40 percent), suggesting that either smaller companies are overspending or larger companies are underspending.

- Six percent of small and large companies had NO CR budget

- When asked to give figures for full-time and part-time staff, vendors and consultants, more than a third of companies said they spent nothing on consultants and vendors.

- A quarter of companies spend between US$10,000 and US$100,000 on consultants and vendors.

* Statistics taken from the new Melcrum research report "How to structure the corporate responsibility function" by Jason Sumner.

Blogged on 6:41 PM by Upay



TOP TIPS: Improving focus and increasing awareness and readership of CR reports

Once you've put all the hard work into producing your CR report do you sit back and watch as barely anyone reads it or takes interest? Do you receive correspondence from disappointed readers claiming it's missing key components or there's not enough detail?

Here are 10 top tips to improve the focus and increase the awareness and readership of your CR report:

Improving focus

1. Consider that most CR reports are currently failing to meet the requirements and expectations of nearly all readers. Make sure you understand who your audiences are and how best to tailor your report to their different needs.

2. Don't try and satisfy too many stakeholder groups in the one report. It will make your report bloated and negate the impact of the most important issues within.

3. Consider a recent report by Pleon ("Accounting for Good: The Global Stakeholder Report 2005," ), which recommends you don't try to reach consumers with your CR report as they will neither read nor value it. Instead, target consumers with marketing, advertising and communications on selected issues of relevance.

4. When producing a one-size-fits-all report for multiple audiences, consider its design. Structure it by stakeholder group and color-code various sections so readers can easily locate what they're interested in.

5. Invite feedback and look to implement any submitted points or ideas into future reports.

Improving awareness and readership

1. Send an advance copy of the report to every single senior executive in the company with a signed letter from the CEO asking executives to review the report, become familiar with its content and promote it internally and externally (within presentations, meetings, etc).

2. Give employees a heads-up a few days before the report is published. Let them know the report is on its way with a graphic ad on the homepage of your corporate intranet site and all business sites.

3. Make some fuss on publication day with a full announcement on the intranet and business sites and send an e-mail from the CEO to every employee informing them of the report publication.

4. Let employees know when the report has arrived. Just like socks in the wash, cartons of CR reports seemingly get lost in transit or disappear under desks. Try using the cartons themselves as communication tools. Stick a bright orange sticker on each carton saying "Corporate Responsibility Report enclosed - open immediately and distribute." Inside the box, include a one-page note explaining why people are getting the report and other relevant pieces of information such as how to get more copies.

5. Finally, keep promoting the report long after publication. Create an advert for the company magazine and intranet to maintain visibility and awareness of its existence after the initial rush.

Adapted from "Promoting CR reports at RBC" by Lynn Patterson, in the current issue of Corporate Responsibility Management.

Blogged on 6:33 PM by Upay