Home – New Forums Tell me straight… WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE?

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  • #993031
    Startafreshlife
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    Inspired by a post from Lucinda http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/giving-back-boost-sales-while-changing-the-world, I started to ponder why is it so hard to be socially responsible?

    We live in a world where there is a great discrepancy between “the haves” and “the have nots”, so are we responsible to share what we do have no matter what that is? If we do, why is it so hard to give things away?

    Lucinda’s article provided great insight into what it means to give back and social responsibility so I will not repeat the definition of thoughts here, but please check the link above it is definitely worth a read.

    Our business, STARTAFRESHLIFE has added a page on our website STARTAFRESHLIFE Social Responsibility where we offer free coaching for those who are in need up to 100 hours each year. (Note: 100 hours in total, not per person). We have been offering this service since August however have not received one enquiry.
    So that got me to thinking:

    • Are we marketing to the wrong people?
    • Is there no need for this service?
    • Do people mistrust anything that is free as a business trying to sell them something?
    • What is it that I am missing?

    I would be interested in your thoughts and feedback, or if you think you could benefit from coaching but you just can’t afford it. Please contact us so we can discuss via our website http://www.startafreshlife.com

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    #1189423
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    How many times has this page been viewed over this period (check your analytics)? This may give you a clue about whether people aren’t keen on the service in that form or whether you’re simply not getting it in front of enough people.

    Maybe try posting on Gumtree or other places where people are looking for low-cost services?

    Dave

    #1189424
    Johny
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    I personally have a problem with the whole way in which social responsibility (corporate social responsibility especially) is portrayed. My views on it are here:-

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140916024609-169973897-corporate-social-responsibility-just-another-slogan?trk=mp-reader-card

    Even noting the title of Lucinda’s article “boost sales by changing the world” incorporates an element of making a profit by doing good. For me they are two distinctly separate things and should be treated as such. (Sorry Lucinda).

    As for your free coaching, after reading your page two things stood out to me:-

    1. Even if the coaching is free it still takes time. Therefore what is the value of spending my time? I know the answer, but I’m not your audience

    2. For me, offering discounts is a sales pitch. Not an addition to what you deem to be a service defined as being socially responsible.

    I personally switch off when I hear someone offering something for free, because it rarely ever is. Even when I go to fairs and get plied with alcohol, I have to pay by way of an inbox full of marketing emails for the next year.

    My opinions only and sure others will have different views.

    #1189425
    Startafreshlife
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    FS Forum Support, post: 222277, member: 49676 wrote:
    How many times has this page been viewed over this period (check your analytics)? This may give you a clue about whether people aren’t keen on the service in that form or whether you’re simply not getting it in front of enough people.

    Maybe try posting on Gumtree or other places where people are looking for low-cost services?

    Dave
    Hello Dave…..thank you for this feedback. I will follow up on that I am suspecting I may not be getting to enough people by the looks of it. I will take on your suggestion about Gumtree and some other websites.

    #1189426
    Startafreshlife
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    Johny, post: 222281, member: 34822 wrote:
    I personally have a problem with the whole way in which social responsibility (corporate social responsibility especially) is portrayed. My views on it are here:-

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140916024609-169973897-corporate-social-responsibility-just-another-slogan?trk=mp-reader-card

    Even noting the title of Lucinda’s article “boost sales by changing the world” incorporates an element of making a profit by doing good. For me they are two distinctly separate things and should be treated as such. (Sorry Lucinda).

    As for your free coaching, after reading your page two things stood out to me:-

    1. Even if the coaching is free it still takes time. Therefore what is the value of spending my time? I know the answer, but I’m not your audience

    2. For me, offering discounts is a sales pitch. Not an addition to what you deem to be a service defined as being socially responsible.

    I personally switch off when I hear someone offering something for free, because it rarely ever is. Even when I go to fairs and get plied with alcohol, I have to pay by way of an inbox full of marketing emails for the next year.

    My opinions only and sure others will have different views.

    #1189427
    Startafreshlife
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    Hi Johny, I read your article and was very interested in your view and I am sure that there are a lot of people who feel the same way. It could be a difference in interpretation of whether it is responsibility or participation and maybe it is time to coin another phrase. I actually was listening to an interview a few months ago and they stated that people who give to charities and donate are doing it for themselves because they want to feel good. I would also agree with that because I know I feel good when I give. I guess in terms of myself I know my intent and I know how much I have given in the past and will continue to with the right intent. I do think people can interpret what they read and hear differently because we always put our own filter, values and beliefs on what we are reading or hearing – still communication is the responsibility of the communicator not the person receiving. I have also heard people say that those famous who donate only do it to further there own career and in part that could be true. I guess all that I hope is for what ever reason people give in regards to their time, money or resources they continue to do it. Because without people like this in the world it would be a worse place to live. I definitely take your feedback on board and I will review what I have written and see if I can make some improvements. It is always great to get constructive feedback and learn from others, so thank you for your time.

    #1189428
    Johny
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    I am inclined to agree with a lot of that. If, for example, people give to charity because it makes them feel better, then as you say, better that they give, rather than worry about the reason.

    But individuals aren’t in the habit of running down the street and yelling out they just gave $10.00 to the Cancer Fund. It may make you feel good about yourself, but you aren’t doing it because you want something back.

    And that’s where I see the distinction. Many companies do it specifically to raise awareness with the intent of maximizing profits.

    In my world which is the sourcing of products, we are often told about how large corporations are now being more socially responsible with ethical sourcing practices. I do however find it interesting that they only ever become more ethically responsible AFTER they have been outed by the media, which is usually after people have died somewhere.

    From that perspective, being ethical costs more. It is that simple. And despite what people say about being prepared to pay more, most aren’t.

    So as you can see, I am quite cynical about it all. Doesn’t make me right, just the result of what I have seen over the years.

    #1189429
    bb1
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    Startafreshlife, post: 222273, member: 69397 wrote:
    • Do people mistrust anything that is free as a business trying to sell them something?
    • .

    YES

    #1189430
    Startafreshlife
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    Johny, post: 222286, member: 34822 wrote:
    I am inclined to agree with a lot of that. If, for example, people give to charity because it makes them feel better, then as you say, better that they give, rather than worry about the reason.

    But individuals aren’t in the habit of running down the street and yelling out they just gave $10.00 to the Cancer Fund. It may make you feel good about yourself, but you aren’t doing it because you want something back.

    And that’s where I see the distinction. Many companies do it specifically to raise awareness with the intent of maximizing profits.

    In my world which is the sourcing of products, we are often told about how large corporations are now being more socially responsible with ethical sourcing practices. I do however find it interesting that they only ever become more ethically responsible AFTER they have been outed by the media, which is usually after people have died somewhere.

    From that perspective, being ethical costs more. It is that simple. And despite what people say about being prepared to pay more, most aren’t.

    So as you can see, I am quite cynical about it all. Doesn’t make me right, just the result of what I have seen over the years.

    #1189431
    Startafreshlife
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    I am really curious about your experiences and how these have led you to your beliefs. Cynical is a strong word, could I reframe that to be maybe “aware” :-). I love the fact that you have strong views but they are also considered and I have truly learn’t a lot from just this small interaction. If ever you would like to give coaching a try for yourself. I would be interested in providing you 3 free hour sessions as I think I could learn a lot from yourself and you could help me grow as a coach (that is my intent, so yes I do get something out of it :-)). Feel free to contact me via my email at [email protected]. If not I wish you well in what ever you decide to do and from now on when I am offering “free”, I will be much more considered about my intent and language as I progress.

    #1189432
    Startafreshlife
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    bb1, post: 222293, member: 53375 wrote:
    YES
    Hi Bert….I am starting to learn more about this. Although I think it is sad, it is also good to be aware that when you do this it could have the counter effect of what you are looking for.
    #1189433
    LucasArthur
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    Hi

    Ok, i have come across this post a few times and been tempted to reply although not.. Tempted again, and then not reply…

    To be socially responsible carries many different meanings for many different people.. In the corporate sector, it is generally done for the ‘perception’ of what is being done to offset the billions made by such large corporates such as the banking sector..

    Yes, it is nice that they are returning a ‘little’ (and it truly is marginal the redistribution that is being done) back into those that can not afford things or require some extra help although ultimately it ends up as a PR attempt or is ‘known’ about in some circles etc. Not too mention, its a nice tax write off..

    Moving on to your social responsibility and free coaching.. Offering something to free to an audience who already potentially knows about you can actually have a negative effect on you existing business model. Why, because those paying will feel that they are subsidising your charitable coaching sessions as your time must be getting paid for somehow.

    Now, this is not a barrage against you incorporating costs of paid vs offsetting against free as you may be genuine (which i feel you are) although its all about the perception..

    Personally, if i was to be ‘socially responsible’ i would have no links to my business and not advertise it on my website as “FREE” and would merely offer it to chambers of commerce (or relevant bodies) in my local area should they wish to run a program that i could assist or support moving forward.

    Like Berty Beetle and Johny, i see free as being stung extra somewhere else.. On something else or by someone else or someone wanting to grab my details to try and sell me something else ;)

    Cheers

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1189434
    Startafreshlife
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    HarryLuke Logistics, post: 222317, member: 34537 wrote:
    Hi

    Ok, i have come across this post a few times and been tempted to reply although not.. Tempted again, and then not reply…

    To be socially responsible carries many different meanings for many different people.. In the corporate sector, it is generally done for the ‘perception’ of what is being done to offset the billions made by such large corporates such as the banking sector..

    Yes, it is nice that they are returning a ‘little’ (and it truly is marginal the redistribution that is being done) back into those that can not afford things or require some extra help although ultimately it ends up as a PR attempt or is ‘known’ about in some circles etc. Not too mention, its a nice tax write off..

    Moving on to your social responsibility and free coaching.. Offering something to free to an audience who already potentially knows about you can actually have a negative effect on you existing business model. Why, because those paying will feel that they are subsidising your charitable coaching sessions as your time must be getting paid for somehow.

    Now, this is not a barrage against you incorporating costs of paid vs offsetting against free as you may be genuine (which i feel you are) although its all about the perception..

    Personally, if i was to be ‘socially responsible’ i would have no links to my business and not advertise it on my website as “FREE” and would merely offer it to chambers of commerce (or relevant bodies) in my local area should they wish to run a program that i could assist or support moving forward.

    Like Berty Beetle and Johny, i see free as being stung extra somewhere else.. On something else or by someone else or someone wanting to grab my details to try and sell me something else ;)

    Cheers

    #1189435
    Startafreshlife
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    Hi HarryLuke….what a great idea about targeting organisations. I recently went to a Rotary meeting and was toying with that very idea. I also am aware of other organisations who may benefit from this. I am starting to feel that you all may be right, if I remove the page from my website then I am truly doing it in a way that cannot be misconstrued by others who have had bad experiences or see any on sell from there as inappropriate. Although I am not looking to onsell to those people. I am glad you took the time to reply and appreciate your honesty and candour. This has given me a lot of things to ponder over the weekend – but like I said, more and more maybe it is time to remove that page. I did not think about the point how paying individuals would feel and that is also pushing me towards removing. It does not mean that I will not pursue the offer of free where I feel it is deserved, but if I don’t advertise it, it is truly from a pure intent that cannot be misread. I am so glad I asked this question as I believe it has given me a more balanced view on this subject. Thank you.

    #1189436
    Johny
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    Cynical is a strong word, could I reframe that to be maybe “aware”

    Nah, cynical would be about right I reckon.

    Happy to have a chat sometime. not necessarily a coaching experience, but general chat is always good.

    Should let you know though that I spent several great years up around Cairns, Mossman and Port in the late 90’s. Took me a year after I left there to stop ending every sentence with “hey”.

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