Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause (Philip Kotler & Nancy Lee)

Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause by Philip Kotler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I ended up just skimming through this book as it's a bit too basic for me now. But it's a good read for the beginner still looking for basic info on the world of CSR as it gives a very good overview and loads of examples.

 In "Corporate Social Responsibility", Kotler takes you through what he calls the six options for doing good:
1. Corporate Cause Promotions
2. Cause-Related Marketing
3. Corporate Social Marketing
4. Corporate Philanthropy
5. Community Volunteering
6. Socially Responsible Business Practices

I say it gives a good overview as the focus throughout the book is on differentiating each type of CSR tactic, complete with an analysis of pros and cons of how each one can affect your brand. He doesn't really go into in-depth case studies, but he mentions a lot of examples done by major companies such as The Body Shop, ben and Jerry's, AT&T, McDonalds, and many many many more.

I'd recommend this to brand managers and other marketing department people who are well trained to push products, but find the world of CSR very foreign. This book will help you link different types of CSR to things more familiar to you - equity building, creating brand preference, driving traffic, and yes, even increasing sales. (I think I got you guys with that last one, didn't I? Heheh)

And to my friends over on the other side - the nonprofit managers and heads of fundraising - you better read this too! Because it helps a lot when you can speak the same language as your corporate partners and funders. This is a painless way to learn the principles and jargon, all within a context that makes sense to you. It's hard to transpose learning from a commercial setting into a nonprofit setting, trust me. I've done a few workshops with NGO people, trying to teach them marketing, so I've seen my fair share of blank stares and confused faces when I keep putting commercial brand examples in front of them. So please, read this book.

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A slight caveat to my friends here in the Philippines. I got this book back when i was still in NYC, so I can't guarantee that you'll find this in your friendly neighborhood National Bookstore / Powerbooks / Fully Booked. I'm sure the special bookstores can order it for you; But from experience, waiting time is usually a month or so. If you're really really nice to me and promise to be really really nice to my book, I can maybe lend it to you. Just don't mind all the highlights and notes on the margins :D

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