Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Effective CSR Campaigns And The Role Of Public Relations

India`s new Companies Act 2013 has introduced numerous new provisions which is slowly and steadily changing the face of Indian corporate business. One of the important provisions is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Corporate social responsibility also known as corporate citizenship, corporate conscience, or responsible business is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recently notified Section 135 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act as well as the provisions of the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 which has come into effect from 1 April 2014. Every company, private limited or public limited, which either has net profit of Rs 5 crore, a net worth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore , needs to spend at least 2% of its average net profit for the immediately previous three financial years on corporate social responsibility activities.

Once perceived as a peripheral to companies’ main businesses, CSR is now becoming standard practice. However if companies fails to communicate their CSR achievements wisely, they risk being accused of ‘greenwashing’. Public Relations can have a significant role in communicating the CSR achievements to the world and also to the company’s stakeholders in an apt way. Public Relations is the vehicle that enlightens and shares with the world the progress made by companies, or what the world may not know about them who are successfully embracing the integrated and strategic nature of CSR.

Corporate Social Responsibility is all about smart business actions and constant improvement while building integrity. PR report these actions and events as they occur. The danger is only when the showcasing precedes the actual work. Therefore communicating your CSR achievements and initiatives should be balanced and well planned for a successful business model.

The author of this opinion article is Ms. Prerna Dalakoti - Deputy Manager at PR Professionals 

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