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Featured agency – Resonate
Resonate, a FMCG PR agency, has been a leading light in pushing the CSR agenda at Chime. Commitment to social and environmental responsibility has been lead from the top down.
"We are a people business. Without a happy, caring and motivated team, the Agency would be defunct. It is therefore so important to help employees from the heart of the agency, be it training, graduate schemes or volunteering programmes, as well as spreading this out to the work we do with corporate clients, such as Tesco and Disney, to helping charities with their important efforts, such as Prostate Cancer Research Fund and Keep A Child Alive. This combination makes for a richer, more caring and empathetic environment to nurture new talent and keep the 'old' talent in-touch and involved" (Michael Frohlich, Managing Director at Resonate).
Employees have enthusiastically taken to the challenge of addressing climate change, by looking to minimise the company’s environmental impacts wherever possible. Recycling is championed around the office, there is a ‘name and shame’ policy for people that leave on computers/lights, and the company supported Green Day by not using the lifts for the day. Resonate’s efforts were recognised when they were awarded ‘Gold’ when assessed against Chime’s minimum standards in 2008, achieving a score of 93%.
Resonate supports a number of good causes. Employees have organised fundraising activities such as a ‘Wear it Pink Day’ for Breast Cancer Care and a ‘Stress Down Day’ for the Samaritans. Volunteering is also supported by the company, with 80% of staff joining client Timberland to volunteer in aid of Earth Day which is celebrated every year to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The teams got stuck into a number of conservation activities at Temple Gardens at Langley Park, Slough.
Some of Resonate’s client work is linked to CSR. Resonate has been the driving force behind promoting Tesco’s ‘Computers for Schools’ initiative, supported Muller’s CSR programme and oversaw the public relations around Mencap’s ‘Learning Disability Week’.
Environment - Climate Change Champion (CCC)
Lizzy Lake, PA with Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres
“I thought being a climate change champion would be a great way to meet new people from around the Group; I was also excited that I would be able to get involved in Green Day and hopefully make some changes that would have a lasting effect.
Since becoming a CCC I have implemented some changes here at Curzon Street. We now use Paper Round to do all of our recycling including a new facility for recycling cans and coloured paper. It has been interesting to see how many cans are actually now being recycled (it is frightening to think that these were just being thrown away before).
I have ensured that where possible all printers throughout Curzon Street have been set to print double sided to ensure less wastage of paper. New posters have been put up around the building to raise awareness about what we can all do to be more carbon neutral. I have also been working with the cleaners at Curzon Street to ensure that where possible we are using cleaning products that are ‘environmentally friendly’.
I really enjoy the role and think that there have been many positive steps taken to improve things at Curzon Street – but like anything it will take a while for all of the changes to filter through. Most of the responses from people have been positive but I feel one of the challenges that I face is to try and change people’s views and habits with regards to green issues.
My plan for the year ahead is to work with the other Climate Change Champions at Curzon Street to try and implement new ideas including a plastic bag recycling facility. I also want to try and ensure that people always use memory sticks for presentations rather than printing large documents”.
The 2008 Green Day was the second year this event has been organised at Chime. It was even more successful than 2007, with all 50 agencies taking part in at least one related ‘green’ activity or initiative.
Thanks to all the Climate Change Champions’ hard work, last year’s Green Day was a great success across the Group. Here are just some of the initiatives that took place during the day:
People - Graduate trainee success story
Hazel Seaman, Opinion Leader
“After graduating from Nottingham University, I spent nine months working at another company and then joined the Chime Graduate Scheme in September 2003.
During the course of the graduate programme I spent four months at Opinion Leader, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs and Good Relations. The experience of working at three very different companies – both in terms of what they do, but also in terms of their cultures – was invaluable in helping me decide what I wanted to do, what I was looking for in a job, and in thinking about what sort of career I might be most suited to. Having to meet new people and settle into a new company every four months over the course of the scheme was an extremely useful experience in itself as you have to be confident, enthusiastic and adaptable to make a good impression: all qualities which are important in developing client relationships and in working as part of internal teams on projects.
I left the Graduate scheme in September 2004 and came to work for Opinion Leader as a Research Executive. Over the last five years I’ve progressed to my current role of Associate Director, where my responsibilities now include leading research projects, winning new business and managing junior staff. Working for Opinion Leader has presented me with many brilliant opportunities and every day is different and challenging. The key highlights of working at Opinion Leader are definitely the people and the range of interesting clients we work for and weird and wonderful projects we deliver. One thing that really stands out for me though above anything else is helping to deliver the UK’s first citizens summit which brought together 1000 people in a room over the course of a day to debate and discuss the future of our hospital care - you really can’t get your head around how big an event like that is until you see it!”
Many Chime companies actively support employees to volunteer and support community organisations during work time. Corporate Citizenship’s volunteering policy allows staff to have up to two days per year to volunteer. Kiku Loomis, a senior consultant at Corporate Citizenship’s New York office, has been an active volunteer for a number of years.
“I am particularly passionate about organising educational events that bring people together to share information, and promote action on issues that I care about. The volunteering policy at Corporate Citizenship helps me get involved in a number of activities which I find enormously rewarding and fun.
I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) – a US based non-profit organization supporting collaboration on supply chain compliance through technology. I am also the Chair of the INSEAD Alumni Sustainability Roundtable North America – we hold meetings and educational events on issues related to sustainability. My role includes organising educational events on issues of sustainability for members of the INSEAD Alumni Association, associated institutions and the general public. In addition, I am the NYC Director of Programs for the NY Solar Energy Society. We hold educational events on renewable energy and energy efficiency for the members of this non-profit organisation, and the general public.
Volunteering appeals to me because it can be fun and different yet enormously rewarding at the same time. The volunteering roles I have been involved in have helped develop my skills, such as communication and organising, which are directly transferable into my working life”.
Community - Agency efforts
In 2008 some of the staff at Facts International Ltd decided to donate the cash they would normally spend sending in-house Christmas cards to a local charity. These funds were further boosted by departments diverting their “Secret Santa” contributions to the pot.
FI carried out some research and gave the staff a potted history of two local charities focusing on disadvantaged children.
It was a difficult choice as both charities were very deserving, but in the end it was decided to help Ashford Family Nursery. The sum raised may not seem significant (£205), but the manager of the nursery insists that the donation will benefit the children greatly.
The nursery wrote to say, “We are a small nursery which caters for the most vulnerable children from disadvantaged families. We operate a Speech and Language programme from the nursery and a large percentage of our children have behavioural, speech and development problems and are often referred by health visitors or social workers. Ashford Family Nursery struggles to keep afloat as our running costs are higher than other nurseries. This is because staffing levels are higher than the legal minimum due to the level of disturbance among the children. We really do appreciate any donations as they make such a difference to what we can achieve with the children. With this support, we can carry on supporting families in need.”
As a company Facts International is constantly fundraising. It supports all the mainstream charities such as Children in Need, Comic Relief, Pink Day, Jeans for Genes and Marie Curie Daffodil Day. Its Call Centre is never without a bear from The Lennox Children’s fund looking for a name and in the gaps between the national events there are Bring and Buys, Bake and Swaps and Raffles for the local hospice, Air Ambulance and any other local good causes.
Community - Pro Bono
Bell Pottinger USA is involved in several pro bono projects.
The fifth annual Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) Business Plan Competition is a year long contest for entrepreneurs and students dedicated to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels through innovative technologies, sciences and services. BP USA handles the entire public relations program surrounding the competition including recruiting efforts and event planning.
Music 4 More is a nonprofit organisation providing financial and in-kind resources to sustain and foster underfunded music programs in schools and communities across the United States. Music 4 More strives to make music education available to all children with the belief that through the opportunities of music education, students become well-rounded, emotionally and intellectually mature adults. By maintaining a support system for these programs, Music 4 More helps contribute to a brighter future for our society.
BP USA crafted press releases and sponsorship packages for Music 4 More and garnered media coverage of related benefit concerts. BP USA also established partnerships for Music 4 More with musicians, local businesses and ticket agencies and was successful in planning a Music 4 More sponsored in-school concert in Atlanta.
BP USA also took on the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre as a pro bono account in September 2008. The MGH Cancer Centre needed help garnering national media coverage for an event called “the one hundred,” which celebrates the one hundred individuals and groups who have made a significant impact on the fight against cancer.