Why should you be aware of your Responsible Communication?

With great responsibility comes great power - or is it the other way around? Today's consumers expect good behavior from companies as standard, including transparency, honesty, and tangible positive global impact. It's not enough to take responsible steps in building your brand or operations; you are also expected to communicate about it in a responsible way.

Responsible communication is key to building lasting trust between companies and stakeholders, partners and consumers. And I’m going to explain this in a short, clear and responsible manner because for brands and organizations this means that the information reported about their social and environmental impact and business practices should not only be true and unbiased, but also verifiable.

Read and re-read. Let’s try a definition: ‘Responsible Communication is targeted, human, transparent, truthful and caring about its economics, social, cultural and environmental impacts, and which strives to guarantee respect for stakeholders, while aiming to achieve your goals effectively.’

Everything starts with why? Or how?
Why should you be aware of your Responsible Communication? Because you, as a brand, have a strong voice, a responsibility and a purpose to exist. You are a constant communicator: in marketing, on social media, in real life, in pr, … You don’t just pick a message, you choose the message that has to be - at all times - respectful of the ecology, societal and economic issues. You are also an inspirator. By showing how it’s done, you will gain trust. This is especially important now: consumers in a post-Recession era are shifting purchasing decisions to brands with integrity, social responsibility, and sustainability at their core. (1)

And always keep in mind: using purpose as a gimmick won't work. Making unsubstantiated claims and brightening up your storylines will significantly damage your brand’s reputation and customer loyalty, leading to lasting sales declines. (2)

Our methodology
Our ‘Responsible Communication’ trajectory has its very own methodology. We combine a special set of approaches in order to bring empathy, sense-making and a prototyping mindset to inspire responsible business.

Whether your brand moves in fashion, beauty, tech or design, our approach will fit.

To make a start we have to go to the core. Digging deep and getting a clear sight on everything happening within the company and analyzing past efforts, communication channels and even the internal structure. From the minute you’ll start this exercise, you will find yourself struggling to appoint your actions. Questions such as ‘What is responsible and not? What are my actions so far? Are we going in the right direction? What is the main story we want to tell?” will rise. And that’s a good thing. Taking steps always starts with self-reflection. And with all the information we gathered, we will start building a strategy.

Change the narrative
There are brands that never ever communicate about their actions or try to use as little words as possible to give a tiny bit of insight to the customer. It is because they lack expertise, don’t know how to approach these topics within their brand DNA or because they just feel scared to make mistakes. But your customer wants answers, clarity and transparency. It’s crucial these days to change your narrative for the Good. Have you thought about diversity management? Gender mainstreaming? Are you guilty of tokenism? The language surrounding sustainability can often be technical and jargon-filled, which is why we find it important to break down the concepts and communicate them to your community in a relatable and authentic way.

Find your purpose
It all starts with purpose. Dare to ask yourself ‘why’ your brand exists. If you want your brand to stay relevant, you need to ask the hard, existential questions that will add value to your customer, not just add noise.

What are the values of your brand and what are the steps you are taking to give back? How can we build a bridge between your brand’s DNA and your actions? An effective communication strategy asks for preparation, practice and a great deal of willingness to become transparent.

Don’t worry, it’s a journey
Sustainability is a continuous and ongoing process rather than a destination that can be reached and then forgotten about. This means that sustainability is not just a one-time goal that a business or organization can check off a list and then move on from. Instead, it requires a constant effort to improve and maintain sustainable practices over time. As you embark on your sustainable journey, it's important to maintain openness and transparency about your progress. Share your journey with others by discussing where you've started, what you're currently doing, and where you plan to go in the future. Be sure to provide a full account of your journey, including both successes and challenges, and outline how you plan to address areas that still need improvement. By being open about your sustainable journey, you can build trust with stakeholders and demonstrate your commitment to creating a better future.

Are you struggling? Or just need a helping hand?
If you feel that you need some help with your Responsible Communication, this is how we flow in our trajectory:

  1. Mapping session
  2. Key message strategy
  3. Defining your values
  4. Brand voice
  5. Responsible content
  6. Action plan

Reach out to

1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/17471111011051720/full/html

2. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/consumers-care-about-sustainability-and-back-it-up-with-their-wallets