What is Ethical Communication
Three years ago I chose to make communication my profession. It’s an amazing playground for me. For example, in the case of accounting there are no fixed rules or Ethical Communication.
Every company, every entrepreneur can communicate as he wants. There is no fixed recipe for how our communication works. You have to experiment, watch and start over.
Of course, we don’t communicate around our business for mere pleasure. Your communication should serve your business, and specifically your goals.
This should help you increase your visibility and your business. And for this reason nothing is more effective than ethical communication!
What do I mean by this? Authentic, caring and eco-responsible communication. The ways of consumption are evolving. Citizens must trust a company before handing over their money.
According to a recent study by Rakuten Marketing, 26% of French people believe that the lasting and ethical commitment of a brand is an essential criterion for making a purchase.
So it is in your best interest to adopt ethical communication as well.
Ethics of communication
Highlight the values of your company
For me, this is the essential point of ethical communication. The values of your company are the heart of your business. This is what drives your work.
And that is specifically what will allow people to identify with what you are offering. What you value and what you convey is a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You can offer the same service or the same product, if your prices are different, so will the final result. It is the part of you that you have injected into your business that will make it unique.
And you have to show it. Your customers and prospects need to be aware of your values. They will make it easier for you to identify with your business and won’t hesitate to support you.
All your communication work should be done with your values in mind. Is making flyers important to your business?
To be consistent, your speech and actions need to be adequate. Otherwise, believe me, it will show up very quickly and you risk losing the trust of your customers.
Today, people need to identify with the brand they buy. They should love the products / services as much as the history and values promoted.
And for this there is only one remedy: authenticity! Don’t talk to foam. Share to build a relationship of closeness and trust, to achieve your goals.
What better way to do this than to be honest and transparent with your community?
That doesn’t mean you have to share everything. But for your communication to be truly ethical, it must be honest. So, this is how you will gain confidence in your personality.
And it is the trust placed in you that will allow you to increase your sales and profits. Take care of it. So be loyal to your community. This is the best long-term strategy.
Communication takes time and organization if you want to be effective and see results. If you want to have ethical communication, this must be considered.
That is to say, you need to think about your content and how you share information with your community. It also means that you need to think about your actions holistically.
Do you really need a newspaper? Will this event really bring something to your business?
By asking yourself questions, keeping your values and goals in mind, your communication will become more efficient and consistent. You will send the right message to the right people.
Thoughtful communication saves a lot of time and will allow you to achieve better results.
Finally, I can’t imagine an ethical if not eco-responsible communication. We rarely think about it when we communicate, but all our actions are corrupt.
Digital pollutes. Raids pollute. Business cards are, somewhere in between, single-use waste.
There are many ways to reduce your environmental impact through your communication actions. You can create a site designed in an eco-friendly way so that it uses fewer resources when users are browsing.
We can reconsider these media. Are they all really useful? How to make them more eco-responsible? You can organize your corporate events in an eco-friendly way.
GIC, for example by adopting a zero waste approach. Eco-responsible communication allows you to open your mind and find practical solutions for humans and biodiversity.
Companies challenged by ethical and responsible communication
The goal of ethical and responsible communication is to encourage social change, that is, to help change behavior for the benefit of the company, but also for the society as a whole.
The combination of the two formulations, the scientific concept of DNA (the carrier of inherited genetic information) and the widespread use of CSR in corporate communications, is no less confusing.
We do not have the right to expect this from ethical and responsible communication.
Because it responds to the emergence of a social imperative, including a moral one within the company, a phenomenon linked to the rebirth of morality in our contemporary societies.
The goal of ethical and responsible communication is to encourage social change, that is, to help change behavior for the benefit of the company.
But also for the society as a whole. Inside, ethical and responsible communication encourages employees to adopt new behaviors.
This includes the communication of relevant information on management’s CSR commitments, aimed at ensuring that employees conform to the vision and efforts required of them.
That they become aware of the importance of the message, understand its content, mobilize, commit , then take the task.
Integrated, ethical and responsible communication into management and governance strategies must be channeled throughout the company and irrigated in the same way as the circulation of blood that supplies heat.
The results expected from ethical and responsible communication for employees are far from negligible, as it has a strong impact on their sense of belonging, their motivation and their productivity.
Externally, ethical and responsible communication represents a formidable weapon on the side of the employer brand and the war for talents, in comparison to competing challenges.
When a company is faced with risks of an ethical, environmental, financial, legal or industrial nature, ethical and responsible communication makes it possible to limit their negative effects.
If the willingness to communicate the company’s voluntary commitment to the CSR approach is valid, the enthusiasm or fervor of some executives and managers may even make people smile.
How many times have we heard executives or politicians say that CSR is in their company’s DNA?
A beautiful metaphor indeed, one that looks so compelling and enticing that some organizations are happy to display it as an advertising slogan on their website.
Manipulation and exploitation should no longer be part of the practices of communications professionals.
Corporate communication focused on CSR will be well-motivated if it is to regain the undermined credibility at large, to meet the expectations of the society as a whole and the consumers in particular, and usher in a new era. be improved.
Responsible communication is one that seeks to inform as factually as possible. It answers three questions, three requirements: What is ethics? What is ethical behavior? What is ethical communication?
Image and reputation are different
If it is not ethical and responsible, the company risks looking at its CSR communication upside down and becoming pure practice in style. As with greenwashing, these are the criticisms that are addressed most often.
In a short-term view, it seems so difficult to resist the temptation to communicate without taking concrete, precise and measurable actions, nor the implementation of an approach integrated into strategy and organizational culture.
The association of the two genera DNA and CSR carrying genetic information is misleading. It is a long haul, the tree that hides the forest, an amalgamation that confuses the question.
The argument that CSR is part of a company’s DNA has, among other things, been refuted by studies showing that just over 10% of employees say they are involved in their company’s CSR approach.
In good faith, this vague metaphor, however unfounded, is counterproductive, including those who have adopted a genuine approach to CSR, thus demonstrating that they have mastered the codes, principles and values of ethical and responsible communication. .
Fluctuations in the image and reputation of communication can emerge when companies communicate without a code of conduct or a responsible commitment based on a sustainable CSR project.
When they hide or conceal the reality of their activities; Manipulate the statistical data of their activities; Committed to goals they are unable to achieve.
Take an opportunistic approach and expect this to translate into short-term financial results; or when they do not behave responsibly based on their business model or the nature of their businesses.
But also, when there is a lack of managerial involvement and exemplary responsible behavior; Corporate communication professionals do not have strong skills in sustainable development and CSR.
The reality of their CSR commitment is plagued by the practices of their overseas factories and subsidiaries, their contractors or logistics chains.
And the reality of its CSR commitment lies in its policy of unethical investments, or tax optimization or even tax avoidance, in France or abroad.
In light of the growing distrust of employees, citizens and consumers, ethical and responsible communication is a strategic tool aimed at facing the challenges.
Credibility, legitimacy, transparency and responsibility, or rather the action of being responsible, that is, of motivating.
Marketing is not some occult magical power that will “create needs” and force someone to buy anything … that would be very easy.
In his book All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World, Seth Godin explains that marketing is about the people who deliver the stories.
And on this matter of magically creating the requirement, he explains:
“Consumers are engaging in marketing. They believe in these stories. Without this trust, there would be no marketing. A marketer can spend a lot of money promoting a product
But unless consumers are actively involved in believing the story, nothing will happen. […] No marketer can ask a person to do something without her active participation. ,
It would be a bit like wizards: we know it’s not actually magic (sorry), yet we agree to believe it or not! Ethical marketing or not, cannot force customers to buy the product.
Customers have their own responsibility. Just like the marketing guys! To quote Seth Godin from the same book, who sends a message to all businesses and marketing professionals:
“I think marketing is the most powerful force for people who want to make an impact. And with that power comes accountability.
We (anyone with the power to tell a story, online, in print or in our community) has the ability. ) to change history more dramatically than ever.
To clarify this power and the responsibilities involved: Have you heard of the In the 1980s, Nestlé began an aggressive communications campaign to change the perception of bottle feeding for babies.
Because yes, Nestlé couldn’t make money on breastfeeding, but the bottle could! So the campaign aimed to change the mindset towards breastfeeding.
And to say that bottle feeding is healthier than breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding is the healthiest, this aggressive campaig has been genocide in many countries, especially in poorer countries with no access to clean water, leading to many babies to die unnecessarily. .
Just because Nestlé had the power and inclination to make people believe doesn’t mean the brand should have it!
Definition of ethical and responsible marketing
To answer Seth Godin (as he’s a big reader of this site … * ironically *), I drew this power from ethical marketing, ethical marketing, and ethical structures.
First: No, ethical marketing is not about using promotional campaigns like “buy my product and we’ll donate money to a union!”
“This technique remains a basic advertising technique, often used to enhance its image or promote its CSR figures.
If you want to define the term morality without entering into the philosophical debate, it is your own set of values.
The problem then is that everyone has their own definition of what moral is, because it depends on everyone’s values: my values are not the same as yours.