The recent story of Richard Ross falling off the Sunday Times Rich List because he gave away 25% of his wealth to good causes should be a lesson to us all. Giving makes you feel good and while many will say that he could well afford his philanthropy, everyone has the ability to give something of value - even if it is just a good deed.
At BlueSky, we like to feel good - and we like our staff to be able to feel good which is why we have decided to undertake a certain amount of pro bono work. There are two projects underway at the moment:
The Give Something Back Competition
Our business education practice has just launched a really innovative competition for any business school student - or group of students. The idea is that they pitch an imaginative, but robust project designed to improve the lives of disadvantaged people anywhere around the globe. It could be a social enterprise, an educational programme or a humanitarian undertaking. The winner will get 1.5 days of practical PR & media relations support from us per month for six months. And this isn't just a pie in the sky idea. Having worked with business schools the world over, one thing we have learned is that their students often come up with some of the most interesting and innovative ideas to help others in society. From the MBA student who set up a fashion business to help struggling communities in the wake of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, through to the Masters in Management student working to reduce snake bite deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve had the privilege of working with a number of exciting projects. We know there are hundreds of great social projects being initiated every year – but that many will get very little attention outside of their immediate communities. We hope to change that and look forward to helping a worthy project get as much press as possible.
Improving employment prospects for disabled people
The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) is an independent not for profit group of employers and recruiters that have come together to drive change for disabled people in the UK jobs market.One of our clients The Guidant Group is passionate about this issue and decided to bear the costs of a year long PR campaign during 2015 with the aim of changing the approach to disability throughout the recruitment supply chain and increasing the awareness of the RIDI awards among employers and recruitment firms. We were appointed to handle PR on behalf of RIDI by Guidant with an allocated budget for two days of our time per month. Because we felt that this was such a good cause, we decided to donate one of those days per month for free. The results so far have been great with 39 pieces of coverage during Q1 alone.
The Feel Good Factor
Obviously all businesses exist to make money but increasingly, people also want to work for an employer with a sense of corporate social responsibility. Hopefully our small efforts go to show that it doesn't have to take much to make a difference! I'd be interested to know what other organisations are doing so that we can learn from others - do let us know!