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Ochoa, Michelle P.
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication happens extensively during project implementation, across various levels, and between various stakeholders. The importance of communicating the message and intention of the company is vital to the achievement of sustainable goals for individuals and communities that benefit from such initiatives. Amway Philippines' “One by One Campaign for Children” is a global campaign supporting various children’s causes worldwide. In the Philippines, the program is aimed at SDG 4, or supporting quality education through a values-laden literacy through storytelling campaign under the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School Program (ASP). It was proven that in all locations where the Amway business operates, public school partners and students benefited from library renovations and other related support activities, which resulted in a sustainable relationship through effective communication and technology, such as email communication, social media channels, that mobilized volunteers across the organization. Morsing and Schultz (2006), noted that engagement in present times requires a more sophisticated and ongoing stakeholder awareness and more focused CSR communication strategies than previously. This solidifies the need to make a CSR communication platform as that is “sustainable” and more attuned to the needs of various stakeholders. The element of “sustainability”, makes the Amway Philippines One by One Campaign a movement to uplift the lives of its beneficiaries. The communication for development (C4D) model, allows the campaign to tap into various forms of communication, and utilize the technology that allows the implementation on a global and affiliate level. The barriers of distance and time is no longer a challenge since the messaging tools are freely utilized using email, social media channels, and the Amway web-based resources such as blogs, microsites, and websites. Feedback is gathered, and dialogues are made to open up the communication lines either personally or through technology-aided communication. With the vision to help children live better lives, Amway employees and partners donated volunteer hours. They went beyond helping schools but also communities with the commitment to become responsible for their respective areas. Thus, bringing small change to one child, one school, one community at a time. Most corporate entities perform philanthropy as an act of “giving back” to communities, sometimes with the consideration of proximity (if the area of the project is their place of business) or for any valid social cause. Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director of Boston College, in the paper Corporate Citizenship, Five Areas for Action, raised the question of whether corporations are doing enough to create the kind of communities they intend to do business in, and, moreover, a world that people would like to live in, maybe since CSR is constantly hounded with the double standard of being a business instrument, more than a tool for social change. However, this study would like to focus more on the positive benefits to society that such collective corporate initiatives can derive. For a moment, keep an open mind on the negative ones like corruption, and personal gains without being judgmental. Instead, the researcher would like to illustrate how change and development may be gained through effective CSR communication. As of 2015 data, the private sector's contribution to education support projects, combining infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects, amounts to about 6 billion pesos, which is outside of the Department of Education Budget (sourced from a direct interview of ASP partners, 2016). Such donations and pledges gave way to achieving quality education in the Philippines amidst the government's budget gap. In the Philippines, where most of the places where Amway conducts its CSR campaign are separated by geographical barriers, technology has helped bridge the communication gap. Various teams were provided with the same communication kits during specific projects under the literacy campaign. They were given the same budget allocation as their counterparts from their headquarters in Manila. One message works for all beneficiary schools in different communities. It is all aimed at a single objective of providing these schools with resources under the literacy campaign that was launched in 2004. Through a recently conducted FGD in 2016 and a survey in 2017, the researcher gathered insights as to how effective the communicated message of companies like Amway Philippines, through their CSR projects under the One by One Campaign for Children, drew action that has stirred positive change and brought development in the communities where they operate. A measurement of whether the local campaign was communicated effectively and if the key message is aligned with the company’s values (of Helping People Live Better Lives) is also discussed with volunteer employees. It also aims to measure the level of confidence (behavioral factors and behavioral changes like having ownership of their community activities) of the volunteer in the campaign projects. Amway uses the C4D model of communication. As a result, six schools benefited, and several communities responded to it as a collective action of participants, as evidenced in the annual run activity. This only proves that CSR, if at all construed as a marketing approach, is “marketing with a soul”, that is - one that at least addresses a societal concern. Erstwhile, the fuel that makes CSR work is communication, and its by-product is ultimately- the development of individuals and society. Keywords: corporate social responsibility, information communication technologies for development, ICT4D, CSR, social marketing, social mobilization, CSR for development
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