That Best Next Move: Corporate Responsibility and Your Website
Your corporate website will likely serve as the primary platform for telling your CR story. As an open book accessible to all, it reflects transparency and accountability. But not all websites are alike, which means you’ll need to answer a pivotal question: What’s the best way to make your site communicate everything it needs to say?
Best practices for sharing that CR story on your URL
Since your story must ultimately appeal to multiple audiences, you’ll want to make sure it’s interwoven throughout your site, making it easy for each audience to find the relevant, tailored CR content they’re seeking.
This is more than a copy-and-paste exercise. Merely repeating the same homepage language on your sustainability and investor relations (IR) pages runs afoul of Google’s best practices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It will also cheat you of additional engagement opportunities with your audiences.
Instead, why not craft unique messages for each audience and location? This sample scenario shows one way it could work:
1. From the homepage:
Share a visual clue along with a brief description of the value of CR to your entire organization then link it to a report or page
Show a report or page in a dropdown menu from the main navigation
(not two or three clicks away)
2. On the Investor Relations page:
Extract key data from the report to create a brief CR presentation that addresses shareholder interests
Have a visual clue link and link to a report or page along with a message geared towards investors
3. Standalone sustainability page:
Have a page on your website that has the key pillars of your CR platform outlined.
This is where a report can live, along with supplementary information of interest to multiple stakeholders
To help you determine the best online solution for your company, it’s important to know your audiences and create criteria for success around your CR story.
Your website audience may be larger than you think
While you may have created your CR strategy primarily for two or three stakeholder groups, many other individuals will visit your site as well, including those who arrive there from your social media channels. Interested parties could include:
- Current and future investors looking for evidence of a sustainability strategy—in practice as well as results
- Current and future employees interested in how your CR efforts speak to the overall culture of your organization
- Current and future customers wanting a reason to buy—or continue buying—from you (the COVID-19 crisis has only heightened this)
- Your supply chain partners expecting leadership and guidance
- Communities needing to understand your ultimate purpose
With this larger picture of your potential audiences, let’s look next at how you can best measure the success of your online sustainability presence.
Goals for reporting online
Let’s assume your CR strategy is woven into the fabric of who you are as a company. You believe that stakeholder value is directly related to quality corporate citizenship, and decisions are made through the lens of managing sustainability risk. This is all extremely valuable and needs to have the best chance of being understood.
To be read, though, that information must be found where it is expected to be found on the site. The obvious locations are the IR page, the home page and a dedicated section within the website.
Wherever it lives, you must be able to measure traffic to and from. Remember, data is knowledge and knowledge will always be power.
Do not bury CR information or take it down too soon from a prominent spot. Now more than ever, this material is relevant and meaningful throughout the year.
You have terrific content on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. It may be in video format. It may be in PDF format. Or it may be in multiple locations. Wherever it’s found, make sure you’re also elevating and organizing the information so that it can be absorbed, and you get full credit for it.
Bottom line: A story is only great if it’s heard. Use your corporate website to make your CR story accessible to multiple audiences, with the information located where they expect it and in a format that matches their needs. For examples of how companies have successfully integrated their CR stories, don’t hesitate to reach out to Curran & Connors, a leading producer of online CR reports.
To download a PDF of this Creative Insight and to learn more about the ESG services that Curran & Connors offers, visit our ESG web page.