Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Corporate Social Responsibility – Do Small Businesses Need to Care?

05.25.2010 · Posted in Community Outreach, Public Relations

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Corporate Social Responsibility, or “CSR” as we call it in the PR biz, is a hot topic right now.  Have you heard of it?  Put simply, it’s the push to create in big businesses a sense of duty to the community in which they do business.  Many large companies are responding, too.  Target donates millions of dollars to all kinds of goodwill projects.  Starbuck’s has a serious green initiative.  And Pepsi’s last Superbowl advertising campaign was purely CSR driven.

I view a lot of these initiatives as brilliant public relations outreach programs.  But can small businesses do the same thing?  Furthermore, should they?

A small business best supports its community by thriving.  A community’s economy depends largely on the jobs provided by local small businesses.  The more a small business prospers and grows, the more taxes it sends to local government, supporting local schools and public services like fire and police.  Therefore, a small business’s first ‘corporate social responsibility’ is to turn a profit, and hopefully a good one.

That being said, getting deeply involved in community projects will only further ingratiate your business with the people that matter to you most – your customers.  By raising and donating money to local causes, supporting non-profit groups in your area, and actively participating in your community’s events, activities and government functions, you are reminding people of your business and creating a positive association in the minds of current and potential customers.

Yes, small businesses need to care about CSR, but not to the exclusion of the real priority.

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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