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CSR has become an integral part of any company’s business strategy.

How marketers are now focusing on CSR in current COVID-19 situation

CSR has become an integral part of any company’s business strategy.
  • Gaurav Patra, Founder, Value360 Communication pens down a few reasons why marketers are choosing to focus on CSR activities right now.
  • He further writes how, through the right channel, together - one voice, we can safeguard our nation and help fight this global pandemic.
In recent times, CSR has become an integral part of any company’s business strategy. It comprehends various ways in which businesses can have a positive impact by showcasing its commitment towards economic and social development. Over the last few years, we have seen the rise in marketers’ focus towards corporate social responsibility. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Disney, ITC, have set an example exhibiting their commitment towards environmental sustainability and diversity.

Under the Companies law, “Certain classes of profitable entities have to shell out at least 2 per cent of their three-year annual net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in a particular financial year”. As the Covid 19 outbreak continues across the globe, the significant economic slowdown has already been observed worldwide, which has impacted most of the industries. However, it’s encouraging to see that even in the midst of such challenging times, companies and marketers are coming forward and pivoting strategy to support the society.

In view of the spread of Coronavirus in India and its declaration by WHO as pandemic, Government of India also announced the spending of funds for the relief of Covid-19, as a part of CSR activity. In this hour of global crisis, various marketers are stepping up and aligning their strategy in line with the announcement made by the government. Brands should take this as an opportunity to look inward and be as resourceful as possible towards the cause. Many companies and businesses are donating certain amounts to the “PM Cares Fund” formed by the Government of India, while others focus on facilitating vital necessities like masks, sanitizers, gloves, medicines, food to the underprivileged, health institutions, hospitals, etc.

Marketers and brands are also committing a certain portion of their CSR funds towards Covid Fund. They are also placing health check-up camps in tier 2 cities in order to help migrants get tested first hand. Few brands have also come forward to manufacture ventilators, sanitizers, thermal testers, drones lending assistance to the government in combating this pandemic situation. While the whole nation is under lockdown for 21 days, brands are focusing on newer ways to contribute towards the society in the current scenario. With the ongoing situation, it is important for the marketers to channelize their approach with creative campaigns to create awareness amongst the individuals on social distancing and safeguarding themselves in order to fight the crisis, emphasizing the importance of staying indoors.

Where several companies have launched their digital campaigns on social media like #SafeHandsChallenge, #NamasteKaro, backing the government towards social distancing, it is also important to educate and create awareness amongst the migrant laborers and underserved section of the society about the current crisis and the precautionary measures to be taken care of.

The above mentioned cases show how some companies are channelizing the work of public bodies while others are filling the gaps of the supply chain that was getting adversely affected due to the lockdown. Given the scale and urgency of the situation, brands should co-create their solutions as an effective response to covid 19 outbreak. Together, through the right channel, one voice, we can safeguard our nation and help fight this global pandemic.

- By Gaurav Patra, Founder, Value360 Communication