Sustainability and CSR as potential headlines in business communications. Olena Obukhivska Communications Director of Arricano

Communications are a strategic business function in every market and for every company. It has already gone beyond pure public relations, because it includes multi-vector interaction with target groups. Thanks to it, complex multi-stage tasks are solved, including building a reputation of a trusted company, adding value to the brand's strength, resolving conflicts, promoting a product, creating need and demand, and encouraging action - come, buy, and like.

The zoom conference of the professional industry organization of Ukraine - Ukrainian Real Estate Club - was devoted to the topic of communications in the commercial real estate market, for which a report was prepared on the topic of "Communication models of shopping malls - interaction with audiences, reputation and results". For more information about the presented models of interaction with key stakeholders of the company, see the column for Property Times.

Arricano's shopping malls are stable objects with a mature social position, a high brand awareness index (Brand development index), and the first ones that come to mind (Top-of-mind) among targeted traffic both in Kyiv and in the regions. And the degree of trust and reciprocity is proven by time, experience, and loyalty, which is reflected in the classic and understandable indicators for the shopping mall's market — almost 100% of retail space occupancy, conversion traffic, and tenant turnover. Another good demonstration of popularity and interest in the brand is digital dimensions of reach, likes, repostings and tags, which are often voiced in the commercial real estate market as markers of the effectiveness of marketing activities.

If we talk about a purely communication plane, then one of the most important factors is the accuracy and quality of the key message. Personally, I believe in the power of the word, which encourages action. To generate a really loud brand statement, I often use the convenient AIDA matrix (attention, interest, desire, action). Thanks to it, you can easily conduct an audit of the message and slogan, whether it really attracts attention, arouses interest, desire and motivates you to take a targeted action.

Of all the communication models and schemes used by the top 200 public companies in the world, my favorite for B2C is the Job to be done framework. It helps to analyze the consumer's needs through their functional and emotional aspects in order to address their social and personal experiences directly.

It is using the Job to be done technology that we have developed a corporate social project for teachers — Teachers' Self Upgrade in Prospekt shopping mall. We all understand the difficulties of online school education, which requires new competencies and skills of cooperation with students during distance learning which were not taught at the Pedagogical University. While understanding the demotivating mood in the community of teachers, we offered a functional solution — a curriculum with life hacks from top lecturers, which meets the modern demand, with an emphasis on self-motivation and self-improvement of teachers to take on new professional challenges.

The Teachers’ Self Upgrade social and educational project is the epitome of our ESG Policy (Environmental, social, and governance), that is, a corporate social responsibility policy aimed at sustainable development.

However, Teachers’ Self Upgrade in the format of an educational business conference for teachers was just the beginning. And then there were several other important tangential events. Listening to the teachers participating in the project, we understood the need to form a teacher's brand, a personalized perception of the teacher as an influential representative of the elite. Therefore, there will be a continuation of Teachers' Self Upgrade with new input data.

It also turned out that the market does not clearly perceive CSR projects, that is, initiatives on corporate social responsibility. Partners from different business segments, including retail, raised such questions as "why" and "what will this give us".

Therefore, at Arricano, we also took on an educational B2B mission explaining why to implement and develop social programs and what it gives businesses. It is clear that each company has its own corporate thinking and priority strategy. Therefore, the noble goal of investing in the sustainable development of society and strengthening relationships with business partners working under their ESG Policy is an argument for socially oriented companies.

CSR programs can become a brilliant platform for improving the internal corporate environment to those who are just starting to study this issue. After all, a company's participation in social projects is one of the most effective non-material ways to increase productivity and unite the team. CSR is also the formation of a brand reputation cushion and a positive image, which allows you to establish connections with external and potential internal target audiences. According to expert research, the company's image is a significant factor for 66% of respondents when choosing a company during employment. It also includes establishing stable government and media relations.

If we summarize Teachers' Self Upgrade, then we can add to the above that this is a project with a ready-made and understandable algorithm, where authorities, NGOs, and companies from different industries, including FMCG, are involved, which has occupied a solid educational niche and simultaneously unites three audiences who are passionately interested in improving the educational level. These are teachers, schoolchildren and their parents. Therefore, our project still has an indirect impact on Generation Z and Alpha, which will create the country's history in the near future.  

Therefore, CSR is a cool trend in business communications. And already this year, we see how the cooperation of the business community with various charitable foundations has come closer and how the topic of inclusion and diversity has become a headline.