• Liz Whitaker

A Solution to the S in ESG (or no more 'Effing banks ...')

So says the brilliant Melanie Reid (tetraplegic since 2010) in her Times Spinal column expressing the frustration of dealing with banks (and other big organisations). Although referring to challenges for older and vulnerable people, it's a sentiment many of us would support while stuck on hold/working our way through a list of options none of which apply/not being able to speak to a real person etc. Also see the Wetherspoons story re the smartly dressed elderly gentleman who’d gone for a post-lockdown drink but ignored by staff because he hadn’t downloaded the app? 227,543 people viewed that LinkedIn post and 6,868 left comments. Whatever the circumstances, it’s rubbish reputation management to think that these people don’t count. Or that any people don't count. They are our family, our friends, our neighbours (and big influencers in the case of Melanie Reid). What so many organisations forgot is that people buy from people, and they always will.

Which brings me to the S in ESG. Social criteria, a little bit ignored itself atm as the focus is on the E. Now business critical, not nice-to-have, all organisations will soon succeed or fail based on how investors, employees, clients and others rate their ESG performance. There is no exemption. Social criteria is how an organisation manages relationships with its stakeholders - employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates.

Enter Propella and The Power of Personal.

The Propella grid will plot all your stakeholder groups onto one interactive map to provide a working live dashboard/tool to share your current status and future plans for improvement. You can record your picture of success, agree the measurments and update the grid to show progress. We look beyond the obvious and encourage clients to look at just how many stakeholders their business relies upon. Three most neglected groups are alumni (including the invisible army of Ambassadors in the pension scheme), suppliers current and future (best example here is still the Tyrells Tesco story) and all those people whose applications for jobs are so rudely rejected or ignored.

Against our checklist of 100 visible and invisible touchpoints (plus any that are unique to you) – all those places and occasions where stakeholders ‘touch’ your business - we rate your performance and recommend improvements.

And finally, because our mission is to restore human contact across all corporate commuications, we show you how to introduce a level of personalisation that will see your Social Criteria soar above the competition. We keep reading that the future of marketing is about 'customer lifetime value' and ‘personalisation’. Ha, we've known this for sometime and we also know that these two trends are inxtricbly linked.

Personalisation is also possible at scale. See my previous posts on the NHS, Lush and Brewdog. In The Power of Personal I also look at challenger brand Westmorland Motorway Services (full of smiley people behind the counters, full of smiley people buying and paying premium prices), Nespresso, First Direct and Chiltern Railways.

For a taster of why and what's possible, I've updated my presentation on why personalisation matters now and why the benefits are worth the effort.

Let’s ensure Melanie Reid and others can celebrate the re-humanisation of corporate communications.

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