5 Reasons For Agencies To Take Their Own Social Responsibly Seriously

I’m extremely proud to work for an organization that delivers break through work for clients, but there’s something else that makes me really happy to work for Ketchum: our corporate citizenship program, better known as Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR).

I’m not the only one proud of this program. Our people around the world rally behind it to support causes important them, and these range from the small, like working with community groups to beautify our local neighborhoods, to the very large, like raising awareness for global literacy organization Room to Read or partnering with the World Economic Forum on issues including global health, battling corruption and role of media and education.

We’re quite proud of KSR on its own merits – we really do believe communications can make a difference in the world while addressing hard business issues —  but there are at least four other reasons the best agencies should think about a serious commitment to their own social responsibility efforts.

1. The best people want to work for great companies. And for many, “great” means a demonstrable commitment to the community and the environment.

2. Doing is learning. Our own experience in executing a global CSR plan has shown us that clients are right to question what we’ve done, because while it’s not that hard to tell someone else what they should do, it’s an altogether different thing to actually do it yourself. By doing it for ourselves, we can do it better for others.

3. What better way to shine? The market is crowded with agencies all claiming to have smart people, proprietary methodologies and creative sparkle – these are pretty much a given. But if leadership is an exercise in responsibility, to paraphrase Churchill, then leaders are differentiated by their commitment to it.

4. It’s good for business.  Let’s face it: PR is an industry invites more than its fair share of cynicism. One way to start turning that around might be for agencies to consistently demonstrate a strong and lasting commitment to ethically sound and sustainable business practices.

Oh yeah, we also happen to think it’s the right thing to do. Not just for our business, but for the communities and markets around the world in which we operate.

If you’d like to get a glimpse of our latest KSR report, feel free to click here and give it a read.

As a Senior Partner, CEO of Ketchum’s European operations and Chairman of the London office, David Gallagher brings more than 20 years of public relations experience, both as a client and as a senior agency adviser, to some of the world’s leading brands and companies. Interested in PR, politics, Texas Longhorns and life with two labradoodles. Follow him on Twitter @TBoneGallagher.