The Marketing Institute held a recent breakfast led by speakers from Twitter and Laya Healthcare entitled ‘CSR – Because it makes business sense.’
Ronan Costello, from the Public Policy Team at Twitter kicked off the proceedings by taking us through Twitter’s CSR initiative. Costello described Twitter as a social movement as well as a business. There are on average 500 million tweets sent every day.
Studies by Deloitte and Rutgers University in the US, tell us that employees – especially millennials, want to feel like they’re making an impact. These employees are twice as likely to be satisfied with their career, if they’re given the opportunity to volunteer.
Employees are also:
- 24% more likely to recommend their company to a friend if it has a strong CSR strategy.
- 65% expect to make a social impact in their job.
- 44% of that 65% are willing to take a pay cut to do so.
The company’s CSR strategy @TwitterforGood is comprised of 4 main projects:
1. Twitter for Good – Grants
2. Neighbour Nest
3. Ads for Good - Grants
4. Friday for Good
Twitter for Good grants – are philanthropic donations that Twitter make to worthy organisations several times a year.
Neighbour Nest is a family friendly learning centre, located in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco across from the Twitter Headquarters. It has a mission to improve the lives and opportunities for the people living in the area. A partner – led initiative, Twitter work with NGO’s to help fund and organise programmes made available to the families.
Ads for Good is a partnership that see funds allocated to small-medium sized charities. Twitter has assisted organisations such as the Simon Community and ReachOut Ireland, ensuring that they maximise the grant through the running of successful campaigns on the social platform.
Friday for Good is a twice yearly initiative that enables Twitter employees to use Friday work hours to help charity organisations. Management motivate employees to take part and encourage a sense of duty to the project.
Some of the activities in Ireland have included:
- Tree planting in Wicklow
- A book collection for ReachOut Ireland
- Opportunities for young people to shadow Twitter employees
- Blood donations
- Mental health panel with ReachOut
The reason Twitter’s CSR strategy works is because it aligns closely with what the organisation is all about - it focuses on what it’s good at - digital literacy, freedom of speech, charitable work, activism etc. and ensures that this is embedded in the culture. These initiatives have become part of the core values of the company.
Lorraine Walsh, Head of Marketing spoke passionately about Laya Healthcare’s duty as the 2nd largest health insurer in Ireland, to take an active approach in preventing childhood obesity. Laya Healthcare is the first of its kind to deliver a bespoke programme for children.
Research from The World Health Organisation and Safe Food Ireland shows that:
- 80% of children in primary school are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity. (60 minutes)
- 1 in 4 primary school children are overweight or obese.
Laya Healthcare, along with Real Nation developed the Super Troopers programme – as “Ireland’s First Healthy Homework”. The strategy was built on 3 pillars of well-being, nutrition and exercise and delivered a programme that was rolled out over 30 weeks in primary schools all around Ireland.
Activity journals with two programmes - Junior & Senior were established to fit the needs of children aged 4 – 12. The exercises were designed to be simple, memorable and fun so that they could be easily replicated at home.
In addition to the school programme, a family wall-chart was created to keep track of activity levels for both children and parents. The idea was that Super Troopers combined conveniently into both school and home life.
In order to ensure that the programme could deliver credibility and validity, Laya involved industry experts to analyse the effects the Super Troopers programme was having on changing the habits and behaviours of children from an early age.
The results are as follows.
- 70% of Parents and 71% of Teachers confirmed an increase in children’s daily activity.
- 66% of teachers reported that the children were having more fun in class.
- 64% of children drinking more water.
- 55% of teachers using the activities in the P.E. lessons.
Social media involvement helped to drive momentum behind the programme and to recruit more schools to get involved. Laya Healthcare held a competition on Today FM to allow families to come up with a game idea that could be featured in the activity journal for the following year.
This programme allowed the organisation to leverage other sponsorship including Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, a festival which promoted Super Troopers by featuring kid friendly activities.
Companies such as Twitter and Laya Healthcare have thrived by building up their organisations around this philanthropy, instead of just demonstrating their commitment in a tokenistic way. However, the public image of a corporation can benefit greatly from CSR programmes and thus increase their chance of becoming more favourable in the eyes of consumers.
Aileen O'Toole from Business in the Community shared CSR links:
1) Schools Business Partnership
2) Business case for CSR
3) CSR resources for SMEs