I found a link to a launch of a new CSR guide for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Anybody or anything that grasps the Corporate Social Responsibility for smaller businesses nettle gets kudos from me.
I’ve got to say overall it is not bad at all. The information is accessible to the audience it’s trying to reach, i.e. owner / managers and employees, and it’s presented in a style that is easy on the eye.
The information contained is deep enough for a complete novice and also those who have done some homework on Google. Each individual thematic area takes a very similar approach to ours at Coethica by offering a 3 stage roadmap of initial quick wins, medium term opportunities and longer term challenges to get businesses on board whilst encouraging them to delve deeper and invest further time and resource.
The communications section is naive but adequate. It doesn’t mention social media at all which amazes me. The opportunities for spreading CSR messages mostly for free to an increasingly receptive audience is a no-brainer quick win when I’m talking to SMEs.
It is good but it feels too academic, too wordy, for obvious reasons, but it will definitely help raise awareness of the benefits of CSR for small businesses.
It’s also an improvement on another guide out there called the Small Business Journey, which I’ve never liked. The SBJ website appears too complex and isn’t user-friendly at all, which is even more frustrating considering the tough audience it needs to convince and win over. As for the hard copy brochure of that site, forget it. One irritation has always been that they change the name to Better Business Journey for the paper based version for no apparent reason? I began to use it early on as a reference document for owner / managers to read and learn from, but gave up as most entrepreneurs never got past page 2 because it was uninspiring, too wordy, draped in statistics and typically preachy in its content.
If I can be so bold as to offer advice for anybody attempting to reach the millions and millions of SMEs out there with a CSR message, please remember this if nothing else; SELL CSR, don’t preach. You are talking to entrepreneurs, a unique species indeed. Preaching or expecting them to just get it DOESN’T work. Sell the sizzle! What’s in it for them? Most don’t care what it is called just what benefits it can bring. Education is not the first task, building trust in your authority is!
To check out the guide for yourself click here. Is it any good? What could be better?
Now I need to go and finally finish my version of an SME guide. Watch this space…