Communication is Key for Effective CSR Implementation

There was a news item in the papers today that said the Delhi Government has embarked on a plan to treat to sewage water for drinking purpose. For this, it would take the sewage water upstream from Delhi and release it in Yamuna. Later the same water, purified due to natural flow, would be trapped at Pala village at the outskirts of Delhi and treated further before being released for consumption.
One reason for employing this expensive technique is because the mere thought of drinking the water which you flushed sometime ago is plain yuck!
But this is where communication comes in. The government should have invested a bit of its budget in creating awareness among the consumers. Groups of community leaders, old people, as well as women’s groups, should have been taken through the entire process and sensitized about the process of water treatment. A sustained effort for a couple of years involving many such groups would have softened them to the idea of accepting the treated water.
However, as the state government has lost a lot of time in putting the plan together and getting it off the ground for various reasons, now it has fallen on the tried and tested method of first completing the project and employing an expensive technique that they feel would automatically convince the end user.
The biggest CSR entity in any country (read the government) is not the only one that faces such communication challenges. Almost all the corporate entities who are into the CSR space have been in this space for some time or the other.
The challenge is two-fold. Convince the hierarchy within about a CSR plan and then go out to elicit the support of various stakeholders who would either be a part of the project on the ground or beneficiaries or both.
This calls for a stage-wise, staggered internal as well as external communication plan.
The first component of the plan should be to bring the company management, workforce and external stakeholders on the same page. Everyone should know where they are going.
The second stage should be to clearly spell out the shared vision and seek everyone’s approval.
In the third stage, consensus should be sought about what action, responsibility, and commitments are expected from each stakeholder. Deadlines can also be weaved in at this stage.
From then it would be about constant monitoring or as they say sticking to the plan, until and unless there is some major crisis that has hit the project. At this stage, you will have to go through the entire process once again to bring everyone back on track.

About indiadynamic

mediaperson worked for TWI, TVI, Dainik Bhaskar, UTV and Hindustan Times in all the divisions print, TV, radio and internet
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