Social Value – your campaign success relies on it

Social Value – your campaign success relies on it
What it means to be a successful business is no longer based on monetary profit alone.  Stakeholders, customers, consumers and staff all want to understand exactly how a business is making a positive contribution to society, or as it has been coined in recent years, delivering ‘social value’.

In a nutshell, social value is a way for businesses to measure the positive value they create for the economy, communities and society, while enabling them to evaluate and find areas for improvement. When it comes to the PR industry, social value is about integrating communications in a seamless way that helps articulate the benefit a business brings to its customers, communities and the environment.

The role of social value in comms
According to the PRCA’s recent ‘Future of PR/Comms and their Social Impact’ report, 91% of PR professionals believe PR should raise awareness about matters that improve society while 8 out of 10 think that the industry should actively help solve social challenges such as climate change and social justice.

Embedding social value at the heart of a business’ communications strategy ensures ideas turn into more than just a fleeting headline and can instead deliver meaningful change. A clear strategy on social value conveys a genuine striving to improve the impact of businesses on the world around them, while also improving positive brand perception and trust.

Communication agencies have a particularly challenging mission to fulfil – balancing their own company values with the values and needs of multiple businesses and stakeholders. Being transparent and honest when helping businesses deliver their communications objectives is critical to ensuring they strike the right balance between their corporate objectives and the impact they are having on society.

Increasingly, PR professionals are expected to not only demonstrate their expertise and worth as communicators but should activate their own values as responsible citizens, leading the way in social responsibility, sustainability and ethics.

Spotlight on YO! Chop Value
When Japanese restaurant chain YO! wanted to launch its newest opening in Speke, Liverpool, it was no longer enough to pop up, create hype and expect a packed-out restaurant. To deliver results, it was critical to bring the campaign into the heart of the community in a way that made a real difference to the locals, while staying authentic to the YO! brand.

Liverpudlians are known to be proud of their roots and for wanting to give back to their community, as well as being environmentally conscious. Our purpose-led communications strategy centred on combining two elements that we knew would resonate with potential customers – sustainability and homegrown talent – leading to the partnership with local organisation ChopValue to kickstart the launch.

Did you know that approximately 1.5 billion chopsticks end up in landfills each year? Founded on the idea of turning waste into a resource, ChopValue upcycles chopsticks from businesses all over the world, stopping them from making their way into landfills after use and turning them into beautifully made furniture. Supported by local icon Everton midfielder Tom Davies, one of the company’s directors, YO! Speke was launched with a unique dish – Scouse Sushi – inspired by the go-to Liverpudlian chippie order curry, half rice and half chips.

While the campaign launch hit all the organisational objectives – increasing footfall, driving strong sales and securing high levels of media coverage – the best result lay in the campaign’s long-lasting impact on the environment and the community.

Thanks to the success of the launch, physical ChopValue recycling stations now feature throughout the branch, making Speke the first YO! location in the UK to be actively recycling its chopsticks. The brand is now looking to roll the scheme out nationwide and additional branches have already signed up, marking a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to reducing food waste and embedding sustainability into its business strategy.

Instilling social value at the heart of a brand’s communications strategy not only strengthens brand perception and consumer trust but also shows the power and influence that a local purpose-led campaign can have on creating a long-lasting positive impact on communities and the environment.

If you would like to discuss how to embed social value in your brand communications strategies, we’d love to chat. Contact our team to start a conversation today.