Communicating social purpose | S5 E3

First published: 30 January, 2024

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Communicating social purpose | S5 E3

The Power of Social Purpose in Business: Insights from Christine Cook of Lloyd’s Register

One theme that resonates deeply in today’s corporate world is the concept of social purpose. In a recent episode, I had the opportunity to explore this topic with Christine Cook, a seasoned professional leading internal communications at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Here is a summary of what we covered.

Understanding Social Purpose in Organisations

Social purpose is the driving force that propels an organisation beyond profit-making to contribute positively to society. It’s about embedding a sense of responsibility and a commitment to making a tangible difference in the world within the company’s core. During our discussion, we delved into how social purpose is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage for businesses.

Christine Cook’s Journey to Social Purpose

Christine Cook’s career trajectory is a testament to the growing importance of aligning personal values with an organisation’s mission. Starting in paid social media advertising, Christine transitioned to communication roles that allowed her to champion social purpose. Her work at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a unique entity that operates both as a charity and a shareholder of Lloyd’s Register, is a prime example of how organisations can structure themselves around social objectives.

The Generational Call for Social Responsibility

We also touched upon the generational shifts in the job market, noting that social purpose is a critical factor for all age groups. Employees today are looking for more than just a paycheck; they want to be part of something bigger, something that contributes positively to society. This is where the challenge of communicating and engaging employees in an organisation’s social purpose becomes crucial.

Communicating Social Purpose Effectively

Christine shared her expertise in reaching a diverse workforce, from desk-based to field-based employees, and the importance of tailoring communication to different roles and working patterns. She emphasised the effectiveness of storytelling and using plain language in internal communications to resonate with a global audience.

The Role of Communication Channels

In our conversation, we highlighted the strategic use of various communication channels, such as video content and internal newsletters, to engage employees. Christine pointed out that these tools are not just about disseminating information but are instrumental in inspiring employees and bringing the organisation’s values and social purpose to life.

The Business Benefits of Social Purpose

One of the most compelling parts of our discussion was the focus on the business benefits of having a clear social purpose. Christine underscored that organisations with a strong social purpose enjoy higher employee engagement, better retention rates, and a stronger reputation with customers and partners. Moreover, she noted that these companies often outperform their peers, demonstrating that social purpose and business success are not mutually exclusive but rather aligned.

Final Thoughts

As we concluded our conversation, it was evident that social purpose is more than a trend; it’s a critical component of modern business strategy. Christine Cook’s insights underscored the importance of not only having a social purpose but also effectively communicating and engaging employees in that purpose. It’s clear that businesses that prioritise social responsibility not only contribute to a better world but also position themselves for long-term success.

I hope this episode has provided you with a deeper understanding of the significance of social purpose in business and how effective communication can amplify its impact. As we continue to navigate a rapidly changing corporate landscape, let’s remember the power of purpose and the role it plays in shaping the future of our organisations.

Guest profile

Christine Cook is leading on the internal communications for independent global charity, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, as well as the social purpose work of Lloyd’s Register across the Group worldwide. Her work includes strategy building and multi-channel campaigns for a global audience as well as promotion of key projects and initiatives covering worldwide charitable work, decarbonisation and sustainability as well as safety- all of which has the goal to make the world a safer, more sustainable place.

Episode links

Link to a relevant episode of the podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/personal-and-organisational-purpose/

Connect with Christine Cook

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-cook-communications/

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