This course has been developed to provide learners with an understanding of the significance of corporate community relationships, how to identify stakeholders, increase their knowledge of community engagement initiatives and how to measure the success of community relations programs.
Companies have a responsibility to respect the rights and the well-being of the communities in which they operate. Doing so creates a positive social impact. This social impact can be achieved through several methods, from donation programs, to volunteering and fundraising, to strategic programs that offer assistance to the communities they operate in.
Companies who engage in behaviour that positively influence society will pursue good community relations for several reasons. First, society looks at them positively and allows them to continue what they are doing. But this isn’t the only benefit for a company that behaves positively. Their employees are more likely to have a higher morale, which means they are more likely to stay with the business. Employees take pride in working for companies that have a positive impact on their community, which leads to higher retention rates, increased performance, and a positive perception of the business. This opens the door to another positive outcome – access to local talent. A positive community reputation can attract local talent, which means companies will have access to local knowledge and expertise that can benefit their operations. Imagine a company that is interested in mining or agriculture, working with the local community to understand weather patterns, how water pools or where it evaporates first, or what animals live locally and how they would be impacted by business operations.
Communities all have unique interests, concerns and priorities, and companies with good community relations will benefit from working closely with the communities around them. Community diversity is a huge drawcard for companies who want to succeed in an area because it’s an opportunity to promote inclusion and draw on the knowledge of every individual who lives in the area.
There are many positive reasons for companies to maintain high quality community relations. It can foster positive relationships with the communities that companies operate in; it can lead to an enhanced reputation and brand image; it can improve employee morale and retain staff, or make a company look attractive to prospective staff; it gives the company access to local talent and knowledge; and it can enhance customer loyalty. Consumers will often prefer to support companies that visibly demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
This course provides community relations practitioners with an understanding of: