How to show you are an Accredited Corporate Social Responsibility Leader – guest blog by Jennifer Clark

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” – Henry Ford

Organisations in today’s world need to demonstrate they are a responsible and ethical company that cares about society. Society is changing and organisations need to change with it or they will get left behind. The needs of the next generation are different, the availability of resources is changing and legislation and the global supply chain are becoming ever more complicated. Today, you do not even have to break the law to be trialled by social media and be adversely affected.

As a result, PR, marketing and reputation are even more important now.  Organisations need to build up trust in their brand, their products, their services and their promises.  An organisations’ values need to be living and breathing with clear and frequent examples of them and their impacts. A really positive way to improve reputation and generate positive story telling can be through an organisations corporate social responsibility, also called ‘Corporate Governance’, ‘Sustainability’ or ‘Environmental Social Governance’ (ESG).

Show you are an Accredited Corporate Social Responsibility Leader – it is now possible for organisations of all sizes to become accredited social responsibility leaders

The process of achieving a CSR Accreditation begins with your own assessment of your organisation’s activities. No matter what size your business, you submit an application based on the ‘CSR Four Pillars’. The CSR Accreditation process is a great way to pull together what you are already doing with regard to corporate social responsibility as well as help you easily report on your sustainable and community engagement. It provides a structure around four pillars of CSR which are: environment, workplace, community and philanthropy.

For companies committed to CSR, it means improved reputation, competitive advantage and an enhanced public image and relationships with staff, clients and consumers.

It is clear that firms who understand their social responsibilities and explore ways in which CSR can be built into their strategy are more likely to reap the rewards of enhanced competitive positions in the future. This will benefit not only their bottom line but all shareholders, stakeholders and society at large.

Why not become accredited to the CSR standard through the CSR Accreditation system www.csr-accreditation.co.uk.  It will improve business efficiencies leading to cost savings, increase internal engagement, build resilience to your business and separate you from your competitors.

For further enquiries or a general chat please call Jennifer Clark on 07921264517 or email at jennifer@csr-accreditation.co.uk

How can you support businesses over the Summer?

Are you missing networking over the Summer? Wondering how else you can keep your opportunity radar turned on and how else you can still support your fellow small business and networking colleague?

If it can’t be face to face events because of summer plans and holidays, you can try other things. Such as:

  • Like and share their social media posts
  • Remember not to just like but share as well. By sharing you are spreading the word and widening the net of networking …
  • Comment on their social media posts. Remember to tag people in as well to make sure the message reaches the right person
  • Still remember them and refer to them if you can
  • Arrange to meet up with them for a catch up after the Summer
  • Drop them an email and say hi
  • If you come across an interesting article or piece that reminds you of them or you think might be useful for them, forward it on
  • Go to their website and see what’s new
  • Use the downtime to follow up. Go back through your notes and make sure you followed up on every promise
  • Pick up the phone and say hi and reconnect

Hope you find these tips useful and have a good summer.

 

What I loved about reading “Jo Malone – My Story”

This weekend’s glorious sunshine gave me the perfect excuse/reason to read the book Jo Malone, my story from the luxury of my garden lounger. I of course knew of Jo Malone before the book and recently I had learned more from a podcast with the equally inspiring Karren Brady and also through an interview she did on Loose Women.

Aside from the synergies of the colour red popping up in the book and the new brand (red is also my branding and my go to colour) and the equal apparent love of a Chinese takeaway to celebrate something or to have as a treat, there were many take aways (pardon the non intentional pun!) from this book in terms of business, working mums and entrepreneurialism. Her battle with Cancer was understandably tough but she fought it and beat. Both my parents have battled with and beaten Cancer so its good to hear more stories with good endings.

Here are some of my highlights, without giving the stories away.

– Jo’s attitude if you don’t like something. Change your mindset, change your situation or accept it. I agree! Hard to do sometimes but this is often the simplest way to make change.

– When you mentally paint the worst case scenario, then the risk doesn’t feel so loaded and the leap not as daunting. Again, so simple but yet so true.

– The usefulness of life stories and a back story. I would love to help young entrepreneurs and pupils in schools to learn about business to help them on later life as as well as for business related examinations. I think I heard Jo mention the need and desire to teach “business” in schools and I agree with her as a business owner and as a mum. If you ever need help or support on getting this to happen Jo, I doubt you will given your knowledge and experience, but I would be willing …

– Jo’s tongue in cheek reference to what SME stands for, Seriously Motivated Entrepreneur. Working for yourself is great but it can also be lonely and hard to get yourself going somedays so what she says when applied pays dividends, literally sometimes.

– The importance as a business person to realise that going back and putting things right is not admitting failure but guaranteeing success further down the line. I have heard a similar lesson from Theo Paphitis as the #SBS conference.

– And lastly, the 5 heartbeats to a successful business: Inspiration, Innovation, Integrity, Ignition and Instinct

In summary, a highly recommended read by someone who gets things done from someone who also strives to get things done and make things happen!

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Find more more here

 

Why hire a professional when I can film my website video and social media content myself?

GUEST BLOG BY DEBBIE GOBBETT

In the past, hiring a professional video production team to create your website and social media video content has been something you’d have to seriously work into your marketing budget and usually at a very high cost. Filming, editing and video production required specialised equipment and expertise.  Now, with iPhones and GoPros providing pretty great image quality, and with the advances in technology we see happening at a rapid rate, this has made professional videography more affordable than ever. Whilst the saying “you get what you pay for” still applies, businesses today can get a higher quality product for their money.  Online video is gaining momentum every year, and it has entered marketing’s mainstream – it is almost imperative to have video included in your marketing mix – so why have a professional come and film your business story rather than do-it-yourself? 

You are an expert in your field of business – are you an expert in story-telling?

Do you have the time?

There are three basic factors that drive productions costs.  These factors eventually get reflected in dozens of small budget decisions that impact the quality of the final video shown on your website or seen on your social media platforms…

  • Time. The more time that is spent in pre-production, working out your story, planning, scripting, location scouting, shooting, special effects and editing the better the final product will be.  More time, from more people, equals more money.
  • Talent. The greater the talent of the people working on the project, the better it will be.  Your staff team may be extremely talented at selling your business service or product, but this does not necessarily mean they are video content creators!  In online video production, as with most things in life, talented and experienced people tend to cost more.
  • Tools. You can produce a video with your mobile phone.  Or you can use a high-end camera with a professional lighting kit, professional sound equipment and sophisticated post-production graphics and animation.  Sophisticated tools and the top-level professionals who know how to use them add to the cost of your video production.

What is the message you actually want to convey?

If you are wanting to tell your audience of your latest special offers and deals or about an event that’s happening next week, perhaps a FaceBook Live video will do, in which case, haul out the iPhone and get your message out there!

If you are wanting to produce a series of training videos for your sales team, perhaps a more professional approach is needed, even if it is only being watched on your intranet – keeping your brand professional.

If you are wanting to showcase your business, tell your brand story and highlight the benefits of what you do, then more time and pre-production thought is needed to produce a result that you will be happy with and that reflects your brand. The WHY is easy – you want your business to grow, you want your brand to be seen, you want to increase sales. When planning your web video also take into consideration WHAT you want the world to see, HOW your brand is received, and WHERE it’s going to be seen. Depending on the answers to those, you can decide on your budget…

What will it cost you?

Find out the costs and the detail here

Where were you on Tuesday 12th Feb? Birmingham with the SBS crew? You and your small business missed out if not and here is why …

So last Tuesday was a very special day for me, Nicole, and for Pinpoint Marketing. As an SBS winner (SBS is the brainchild of successful businessman and philanthropist Theo Paphitis, Dragons’ Den star), a guest (my friend and website business associate Jo Dickie) and I were invited to the ICC in Birmingham for a jam packed day of networking, learning, celebrating and making plans. I won my #SBS award back in October this annual event was my first one. I had heard so many great things about the event from the previous winners on Twitter and Facebook and they were not overselling it at all I since found out.

From the Google talk, which was full of tips, to the Cyber Security advice, to the networking, catering, headshot photo area by HP, goody bags, exhibition stands, sponsor session and all the breakouts (hosted by winners, including me, but more on that later – Simply Bows and Graffiti Life), it was so educational, inspiring and it genuinely made me proud to be a winner but to also be a business owner of a UK based small business. The highlight, apart from meeting the man himself and getting my photo taken with him as he presented my winners certificate, was the conversation on stage between Theo Paphitis and Sir Tom Hunter. The take home message from this session as a business owner was definately to keep dreaming. To hear from inspiring business gurus who had been there and done it was very very motivational.

So onto my workshop! In January, the SBS crew asked for winners who would consider giving one of the breakout sessions. I put my hand up, whilst panicking slightly, and a few emails and chats later, they liked my idea of presenting what is marketing, how to plan it and how to measure as a workshop with handouts, advice, tips and stories. They kindly promoted the session for me as part of the agenda and event build up and it was really well attended. I couldn’t of been more proud of myself and thrilled I was able to help the people and the businesses in the room with my experience. The feedback to the session included the word fabulous and I have seen posts saying some of the attendees/winners had already started putting the tips to create a marketing plan into place! Wow! So thanks to the crew for allowing little old me to be part of such a prestigious and high calibre agenda and to all those who came to listen to me on the day. I have emailed out the handout to some winners who couldn’t make the marketing workshop session on the day.

I urge all the small businesses out there to get on board the SBS train, keep dreaming and enter just like I did. You have to be in it to win it as they say.  The increase in Twitter followers, the support, the networking, the opportunities and the learning journey are just a few of the reasons why you must go for it from this Sunday onwards! Find out more about #SBS here

SBS is celebrating its 8th birthday and there have been 2500 winners and around 700 were there on the. With over 370,000 applications, us worthy winners account for less than 1% of the entrants. Wow, wow, wow! Thank you Theo, your crew and SBS!

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