IBM Impact Grants

How Citizenship and Service Build Corporate Brands

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Whether you call it corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility (CSR), when a company fosters a Culture of Service everyone benefits. At IBM, our corporate citizenship efforts center on what’s been called “real change, not spare change.” Instead of just writing checks to charities that mirror our interests, we deploy our best technologies and top talent through innovative and collaborative programs designed to transform governments, non-profits, communities of all sizes and even individuals.

What does this have to do with building a company’s brand? That’s what we sought to discover through a first-of-its-kind study in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF). Enabled by an IBM Impact Grant, “How CSR Social Media Sentiment Affects Your Brand Reputation” reveals conclusive evidence that a company’s engagement in CSR social media can positively impact its reputation.

The two-year joint study used IBM Social Media Analytics to measure public sentiment. Findings showed that audiences responded positively when companies and their influential advocates share authentic messaging relevant to service, versus corporate concerns. Consistency of messaging also was key, regardless of the size of an overall communications campaign.

CSR engagement, coupled with the use of social media, can transform neutral opinions into positive sentiment for companies of all sizes (and from every industry) that get involved in service. This holds true regardless of the size, type or level of sophistication of a company’s CSR efforts. Download the complete study to learn more about how engagement in citizenship helps build companies’ brands.

Diane Melley is Vice President of Global Citizenship Initiatives with IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and leader of IBM’s Impact Grant program.

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