CSR comms: Deloitte ‘Social Innovation Pioneers’

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I worked with the Deloitte Corporate Responsibility team for four years to support their Social Innovation Pioneers Programme.

Deloitte were one of the first big firms to recognise that the responsibility of big business is not just to provide charity donations and paint playgrounds, but also to use the skills and expertise of their people to help small, innovative organisations to flourish.

Putting together a successful programme of skills-based volunteering  to support social enterprises came with some challenges. How to attract and select the right social enterprises? How to promote the programme internally?  How to provide support that was genuinely useful and provided tangible outcomes?

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I worked with the CR team to advise on these issues, promoting the programme through specialist networks and press and producing engaging films to appeal to volunteers internally. Social enterprises and a big consulting firm are very different beasts, we had to work hard to ensure that we kept within Deloitte brand guidelines whilst also telling an engaging, emotional story.

During the course of the first year, we learned that communications and marketing was one of the key areas that the social enterprises needed help with. I developed a diagnostic interview to quickly identify what help was most needed and then scoped out and delivered a range of communications support ranging from social media strategy, re-branding, updating a website or developing simple publicity tools.

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One of my favourite projects was leading the re-brand  and website update of youth sports organisation Vi-Ability, who went on to become Social Enterprise of the year 2016. Vi-Ability were such a thriving and ambitious organisation, but their brand and website didn’t do them service. Together with my team, we transformed their look and feel, with the new branding in place they were overnight perceived as professional, modern and dynamic.

Read my 3 tips for successful collaboration between corporates and social enterprises

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