However, the actual crisis could also become a good opportunity to show how the company actually cares about its social responsibilities. On one hand, outsourcing had not been done only to increase the company's profits, but it was done so as to be able to benefit the local community, offer jobs to the Chinese people and increase the overall living standards in that country. At the same time, outsourcing to China also meant training and investment in people, making them better adapted to the global working environment and providing them with an increased opportunity to participate more actively on the job market. Finally, outsourcing to China also meant a positive impact on the community. Other then this, the company needs to make sure that it associates its image with CSR by focusing on a certain event that has grasped the attention of the world. Such an event is the Sichuan earthquake
This part of the memorandum will describe the proposed actions for the CSR program that Mattel. There are two important issues that the company needs to focus on: (1) connecting the ideas presented in the previous paragraphs to the situation in Sichuan and (2) using the appropriate communication strategy in order to ensure that the world finds out about Mattel's action.
(1) as mentioned, the company should attempt to associate the idea of outsourcing with the benefits that such an action brings to China and, in this case, more notably, to the Sichuan area, affected by the earthquake. The first action could be opening a new production unit in the respective region. This would bring jobs to an area that has been economically affected by the earthquake. Creating jobs will also increase the standards of living in the Sichuan region.
On the other hand, the company can play an active role in rebuilding the area by allocating a small part of the profits made in China to the reconstruction process. For this, the company can team up with the Chinese government and identify together the areas and segments where Mattel's involvement can actually make a difference. The financial effort could be directed towards rebuilding some of the houses, perhaps some of the schools, turning the CSR campaign in a campaign that will advertise focusing on education. For this, the company can also cooperate with teachers in order to identify other educational programs where Mattel can invest.
From a public relations perspective, involving upper management should be a move aimed at increasing the awareness of CSR with the population. Our company can capitalize on the fact that people will associate upper management involvement with the importance of CSR for our company. Upper management involvement means that one of the managers will have the supervising and coordinating job from Mattel, while the actual developments on the ground can be supervised by one of the local managers.
(2) the communication strategy will need to be targeted at a global level, not only in China, and will use all available communication channels: the Internet, media and any other means. The communication campaign will need to touch on several elements, including what Mattel is doing, how the CSR strategy ties into its overall strategy (and here one will need to emphasize the Mattel values and tie it to the educational component) and how that brings added value to the citizens in Sichuan. A successful communication strategy (and the deliverables will need to be checked every couple of months) will need to have an impact on all these areas. The communication strategy will also focus on how Matel's effort is completing governmental effort to rebuild the infrastructure in Sichuan.
As a call for action, use the company's outsourcing policies to China to increase awareness of the positive effect this has on the Chinese society.
How? Use contributions to the area affected by the Sichuan earthquake, an event very much in the news, to make the company visible and increase its positive perception.
When? Throughout the next 1-2 years, with monitoring every 3 months.
Why? Increase positive company profile and, overall, business opportunities.
1. Porter, Michael; Kramer, Mark. Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Harvard Business Review. 2006
2. Zadek, Simon. The Path to Corporate Responsibility. Harvard Business Review. 2004
3. Porter, Michael; Kramer, Mark. The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy. Harvard Business Review.…