My previous post “Why people don’t read your corporate responsibility reports” generated a couple of comments from readers which are worth a look.
So it was with great interest I attended a stakeholder meeting for a major media company on Tuesday, to talk about their report.
I held forth my views that CSR/Sustainability reports are no use as a communication method, and that communications needs to be tailored to different groups, just as marketing is.
I also contributed, grumpily (since I didn’t think the report we were reviewing was very good), that the report was headlined with jargon that turned me off as a reader and didn’t appear to know why it existed.
I chatted with a CSR executive at the company afterwards and said that I thought much more honest messaging about challenges and progress are much more compelling for readers.
That’s why, for example, everyone raves about how Innocent Drinks communicate. They write it as you’d say it. Not rocket science really.
It’s true that I am a little jaded when it comes to CSR communications.
Editing business ‘trade’ magazines for the last nine years means a lot of poor copy writing has come my way!
So it was refreshing to get this message this morning, sent in an accessible email, from the CEO of ANZ Bank in Australia.
I can’t link directly to the email, but this link shows how it looks, almost.
This is not great communications, the company clearly hasn’t spent much on it. The PDF is not particularly professional, to say the least.
But the copy from the CEO is a bit more honest and compelling than the usual corporate speak junk one gets sent.
Here’s the opening line from ANZ’s CEO, Michael Smith:
““This is a time when we have to exceed community expectations by providing flexible, fast and helpful assistance to individual and small business customers facing hardship, while playing our role in encouraging and supporting economic growth”.
A good start to a CSR report. The short ‘interim’ report only lists one area the company would like to have made progress on, but didn’t.
There must be more, and they should have listed them. But this is not bad, compared with others.
You have to like their “The Good, the Bad, approach to transparency.