The New Brand Spirit – How communicating sustainability build brands, reputations and profits.

Click through to: If you are the kind of reader who avidly devours ideas from other industries and seeks to work out why they are successful and then to adapt them to your own sphere of work, this is the book for you.

From the opening quote of the preface, about CSR communications being ‘dressing on a rotten salad’, this book grabbed my attention. Written in an accessible, fluid and friendly manner, it examines the very concept of CSR, tracing its evolution from Lifebuoy’s Victorian hand-washing campaign to innocent smoothies, Fairtrade and Pioneer carpet tiles.

Rather than merely expounding their own ideals, authors Christian Conrad and Marjorie Ellis Thompson have conducted in-depth interviews with 95 representatives of companies within 8 stakeholder groups (everything from NGOs to academia), asking the same core questions of each, and asking what examples of successful CSR other than in their own companies stand out. (Incidentally, M&S topped the list.)

Section 2 then expands on some of the case studies highlighted in part 1, providing greater detail and even including timelines which serve to underline the fact that CSR should be no ‘flash in the pan’, and should be infused with integrity and humility.

Whatever your industry or role, be it in PR, marketing, HR or as CEO, this melting pot of ideas should have something for you to taste in embracing CSR and sustainability as core to your strategy and operations.

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