Last week here in New York the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) hosted a great event focused on The Rising Significance of CSR in Legal Marketing.
Moderated by Kris Fischer, Former Editor in Chief of New York Law Journal, Wendy Dessy - who heads up Corporate and Social Responsibility at the law firm Proskauer Rose and Lary Stromfeld - who is a partner at law firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft - shared their stories about driving CSR programs at their firms.
They both had fantastic stories. The work that Lary is doing with 'Justice Served' and Wendy's for education and food supply to the hungry in NYC were inspirational.
My key takeaway was that when you are doing good make sure you tell clients what you are up to - but not in a big flashy way. Do it in an authentic, one to one basis and you will see unexpected results.
To show this Lary shared this story.
On a regular call, Lary mentioned the volunteering he was doing at Food Bank's warehouse with a client he had known for many years. This client worked for one of the World's largest banks (needless to say an important client for his firm).
The client asked if he could join Lary at the warehouse. He said he would ask around and see who else might be interested from among his colleagues. In the end, Lary took a busload of 40 of the bank's legal team for a day volunteering. The total cost of this day $2,300 - including pizzas!
Just imagine what it usually costs to host 40 clients for a day!
Other advantages of well-executed CSR programs include talent acquisition and retention, mental health advantages and the fact that teams can volunteer together.
My only advice would be if you are doing good, do not just talk about it, write about it too in your personal blogs :)
Standing with employees. Increasingly, employees are exercising their voices demanding that their corporate leaders get involved with their communities and causes in ways unheard of just a few years ago. Expect to see more corporate leaders prodded into participating in local and global public policy debates and being held accountable for their actions (or inaction) by their employees.