What is Good Corporate Citizenship?

April 25 2022

To share its 30-year anniversary with all PR and communications professionals around the globe, the Public Relations Global Network is sharing 30 pearls of wisdom from its senior members and agency leaders.

The 30 pearls – some of the network members’ best tips and advice polished in the past 30 years and dazzling to show direction for the next decades in PR and communications – will be published in an eBook at PRGN’s anniversary meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May 2022. The eBook will be available for downloads on the PRGN website.

Below is one of the 30 pearls from members, expanded to fit PRGN’s regular blog series. It is written by Scott Hanson, one of the founders of PRGN, a two-time former President, and a frequent member of the Executive Committee, President of HMA Public Relations, PRGN’s partner agency in Arizona.

Being a good corporate citizen should be a part of every organization’s overall strategy. It starts at the top and isn’t something that should be approached in a haphazard way.

Oftentimes, companies get involved in particular charities or causes because they have a direct connection to the CEO or other company leadership. Those initiatives are important but sometimes can be more difficult to get companywide buy-in for support.

Good Corporate Citizenship
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

When businesses align themselves with community issues that have a tie-in to the company itself, the results both internally and externally can be magnified exponentially. A couple examples could include the homebuilder who promotes fences around backyard pools to help prevent drownings, or the pet supply company deeply committed to animal welfare efforts.  

There are also a number of considerations for finding the right place for the community involvement of top company leaders.

Community Organizations – Business

These include chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and other organized business advocacy groups. Participating in the overall business and economic health of a community show a commitment to others who also have a vested interest in a market.

Community Organizations – Nonprofit

Every community has dozens of worthwhile organizations needing corporate support and guidance. Often these non-profits have direct or indirect connections to the business or have goals that align with the corporation’s overall mission. These should always be researched very well to determine the appropriate fit.

Industry Organizations

A clear demonstration of leadership is how involved the company is in its own industry. In addition to business and community organizations, there are typically industry organizations at both the local and national levels that should be evaluated for participation and support.  Involvement can also often provide a competitive edge.

Events 

In most communities, there are a number of business and charitable events that should be considered for attending on behalf of the organization. These could include galas and other events such as golf tournaments, taste events, specialty dinners, etc., which directly connect to the organization’s outreach strategy or which have other connections to the company.

Need help connecting?  Our team can help guide you to success.

Scott Hanson
President, HMA Public Relations
Scott Hanson, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, Arizona, and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He has been with HMA since 1986. Recognized as an industry leader, he is among only 450 PR practitioners to be admitted to the Public Relations Society of America’s distinguished College of Fellows and among only 20 percent of public relations practitioners in the United States to have earned his Accredited in Public Relations certificate from the PRSA. Hanson has earned several PRSA Copper Anvil Awards, numerous writing awards from Associated Press, as well as a prestigious Gold Award for media relations from Bulldog Reporter Magazine. He has also been recognized for his communications expertise by numerous client-related industries, including a President’s Award from the Arizona Association for Economic Development for his efforts to improve Arizona. Hanson is a member of Valley Leadership Class XX and is active in Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He is chairman of the Northern Arizona University School of Communications’ Advisory Council, a member of the N.A.U. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Advisory Council and is also the professional advisor for N.A.U.’s PRSSA chapter. He is on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Arizona and served for more than a decade on the board for The Arthritis Foundation’s Greater Southwest Chapter, as well as representing the chapter on the foundation’s National Awareness and Planning committees. He has also served on the board for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Phoenix Chapter. Additionally, Hanson has hosted Protecting The Public, an award-winning monthly news and information program for Phoenix Channel 11, and has done freelance work for other news organizations, including KPHO-TV (CBS), KSAZ-TV (FOX) and KNXV-TV (ABC). A Phoenix native and graduate of N.A.U., Hanson is also a certified high school baseball umpire for the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Specialties: Getting clients noticed.