Actions speak louder than words

It seems like there’s a lot of talk lately about corporate social responsibility. Companies are hiring CSR directors and launching initiatives at an ever-increasing rate. While these programs are effective at generating goodwill for a brand, sometimes the motives are questioned—people know a publicity stunt when they see it. Doing good just for credit or attention simply isn’t authentic.

From time to time, however, a company gets recognized for quietly doing what’s right. When a devastating tornado flattened Hackelburg, Alabama earlier this year, 26 people were killed. The town’s largest employer, Wrangler, lost its factory and the residents lost hope. They were worried the corporation would simply walk away from the situation like others did. Others speculated that this might be an opportunity for Wrangler to ship jobs overseas like their competitors.

But they didn’t. Instead, they announced they would rebuild and even add 50 jobs. And in the meantime, every worker has a job and benefits even though they don’t have a workplace in town anymore (some workers are bussed to an offsite temporary facility).

In the words of one employee to ABC, “Wrangler stepped up to the plate. I mean, they took care of us.”

Many corporations set forth communications objectives to increase awareness, develop goodwill or build brand equity. The bottom line, however, is that simply talking about these things will never be as beneficial as actually taking action. It’s correctly navigating a tough decision that demonstrates corporate conscience.

Actually doing things is what gets noticed. Wrangler is getting press coverage for simply doing what’s right for their people. Their loyalty to employees has helped potential customers realize the American values they talk about in their communications collateral actually mean something to the company.

Anyone know where I can buy a pair of Wranglers?