Corporate Eye

Just Means – why should you care?

Responsibility is important. Not just because it makes for a good story, but important in itself. And there is much suspicion of ‘greenwashing’ – even the EDF Green Britain adverts in the paper recently started with the cynical assumption that companies try to paint all their actions green. So how can you communicate your actions and be believed?

Just Means

Responsibility is one of the many areas in which people want to turn over the stones in the corporate estate to see what lies underneath. How better to do this than by conversing directly, visibly, with interested parties?

Not every company wants to host a conversation on its own site, although all want to demonstrate ‘engagement’ with their stakeholders. Increasingly, companies are using social media outposts to converse with stakeholders, perhaps via a blog, Twitter or Facebook, each of which have different ‘styles’ of communication.

There’s a very interesting site dedicated to providing a platform for conversation between people – and companies – interested in responsibility. Just Means provides tools for companies to engage an audience on the Just Means site, but also as a base on which to run campaigns, syndicate content to those other social media platforms, and to measure engagement. Individuals can ask questions; companies can explain their actions.

Dave Stangis from Campbell Soup

No, better than that: named individuals from companies can explain the actions of their companies, and get involved in conversation.

Here’s Dave Stangis’ page, for instance (right – click to see a bigger version).

Dave Stangis is VP CSR/Sustainability at Campbell Soup Company (chosen at random), and his page reveals several of his updates about his work (going to talk to an Investor Day to talk about Sustainability) and who he is talking to (people from Hershey). We can also read his blog posts, and find out what events he’s going to, and what he’s hoping to get out of them.

This is really good stuff: we can see that he is chatting with individuals on a personal level but also about what concerns them professionally with respect to sustainability. And he, one hopes, is getting ideas and feedback from this dedicated community.

Yes, I could follow Dave Stangis on Twitter (and maybe Campbell Soup, too), and his Just Means updates are pulled through to Twitter – but here a lot of his ‘good work’ social media activity is collated.

The value in this type of activity is that companies that do engage in online communities say that word of mouth, brand awareness and customer loyalty increase. And the added value that Just Means provide seems to be in making it a one-stop-shop for companies (at least for the sustainability stakeholders) with measurement and tracking available. I’d like to see a bit more detail of how the measurement and tracking works in the help and support area, but no doubt this would be fully available to any interested company.

And I think there are lots of those; the client list is impressive, and seems to be growing every week.

But here’s a question: how do visitors to the corporate site know of the activity off-site? Do these big companies link back to Just Means from the corporate site, or is this activity completely separate from the corporate site?

I picked two of the biggest names on the (long) Just Means client list, to see if there was any synchronisation between the corporate site and the Just Means site:

  • HP has a press release on the Just Means site announcing a competition for the most innovative re-use idea; but I haven’t been able to find this release on the corporate site at the time of writing. HP has an astonishing array of informative pages about recycling, but no mention of this competition on these pages, which seems a shame.
  • And Intel have a well-developed page on the Just Means site, which pulls in posts from their CSR blog, and includes multiple sections explaining what they do, news releases, videos and links to their company reports. (Other companies include events, contests and articles, so there are many options). Again, though, there doesn’t appear to be a link on the main corporate site, though there is a link from one of the Intel blogs.

I wonder why this is? Perhaps it is that the corporate site is slower to update, because of the greater momentum involved; perhaps it is because those companies who prefer to place this social activity on an outpost rather than on the main corporate site are more likely to be Just Means’ clients.

What do you think? Should this activity be clearly signposted from the corporate site?

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Comments

Lucy,

Thank you for writing this – I think you have touched on a really important issue. We have a custom widget for companies coming out in September that will allow for people to interact between corporate sites and Justmeans.com.

Conversations and content from one site (corporate or Justmeans) will be able to drive engagement on the other.

Engaging with corporate IT department does take time though as well! :)

Sincerely,

Martin
msmith@justmeans.com
http://www.justmeans.com

Hi Martin

Thanks for commenting – I’ll look forward to seeing how the Just Means widget works. I can see that it might well help in tying together the two points of corporate activity; something that I think is important…

This was always in the back of my mind, but the post moved it up the list for me.

Since this story last week – I’ve added a “Follow our Story” link on our CSR Page – http://www.campbellsoupcompany.com/csr – that now links back to JustMeans.

Thanks for putting the bug in my ear Lucy.

Hi Dave

I didn’t mean to add to your personal to do list!

But I do like the location of the link (for anyone who’s not clicked through yet, it’s in the very top navigation bar), and you obviously got it done very quickly. I wonder if you’re the first to link back to Just Means from the corporate site itself?

Comments are closed.