by Nadia Gamieldien

Editor's Note - March 2013

Every bit helps

Nadia Gamieldien
nadia1.jpg
The saying goes – it is better to give than to receive. There are many who believe this to be true, yet you will always have those who argue the fact – how can you give when you have so little?
Every bit helps. Business leaders across the globe have realised the importance of assisting those caught up in the vicious trap of poverty in crime ridden communities, which are prone to being stuck with poor health and illiteracy. The thought behind this is like a doublesided sword.
Companies cannot expect to have good standing in the eyes of those they wish to approach, if their business is not involved with the three elements which have become highly relevant in todays world: social development, environment and investment.
Gone are the days when consumers blindly follow a brand’s lead and swear to the quality of its products or services. Today people expect companies to prove to them why they should be loyal to the products or services offered.
Companies who invest in community social development, education and/or employment, have fared a lot better than those who rely on years of brand loyalty.
When consumers see companies reaching out to help those less fortunate, they not only convince others of those brands but they feel compelled to join in. The power of ‘word of mouth advertising’ is stronger than ever. 
In the same breath it is relevant to mention that the average Joe in the street has also realised that every bit helps.
These days there are more and more projects being started by groups of friends or families, hoping to make a difference. This does not only happen on Mandela Day or during other national CSI/CSR initiatives. Websites such
as www.myggsa.co.za and www.givengain.com boast many activities started by those willing to assist others.
By moving your company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives to a top five priority list, you will not only improve the lives of those you help but you can improve your business and the morale of your staff.
Above all, you will engage in a priceless brand awareness strategy which consumers will follow.
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