2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Gold Winner - Strategic Public Relations Group
Company: Strategic Public Relations Group, Hong Kong, China
Category: Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications
Entry Title: Care • Connect • Contribute by SPRG
The poverty rate in Hong Kong was 14.3% in 2014. While NGOs play indispensable roles by providing financial assistance and social support to the underprivileged, some that do not receive government backing face difficulties in sourcing material donations and finding volunteers. There are also concerns from donors regarding how their contributions are distributed and whether their items are appropriately handled and used. Yet another issue relates to people who wish to contribute to society but are unable due to the lack of platforms for matching their skills with relevant charities.
To make a positive impact on Hong Kong, Strategic Public Relations Group (“SPRG”) established Strategic CSR Network, a registered not-for-profit organisation that serves as a one-stop platform linking stakeholders together to conduct charitable works on an ongoing basis.
Strategic CSR Network is the first and only NGO to be founded by a Hong Kong PR industry member. This offers a unique advantage as it can leverage the existing business and social networks of SPRG and its teams, as well as SPRG’s experience in devising and participating in PR and local charitable works. Consequently, Strategic CSR Network is able to bring together different parties, including corporations, NGOs and volunteers to help the elderly, underprivileged, disadvantaged ethnic minorities and migrants, and individuals suffering from chronic conditions among others.
Strategic CSR Network organises and participates in community events regularly through the help of reputable NGOs. Beneficiaries with corresponding needs (material and emotional support) are identified via community partners, thereby ensuring the effective delivery of products and services.
Via an extensive professional and social network, different parties, including corporations, schools, associations and volunteer groups are included in a pool. Strategic CSR Network reduces the burden of NGO partners in terms of identifying and approaching donors we know, collecting donated products, matching products with the needs of beneficiaries suggested by NGOs and recruiting volunteers with different skills via open recruitment and its connection. Strategic CSR Network also supports the entire logistics chain of an event, including collecting/delivering products and coordinating relevant services.
On 6 June 2015, a kick-off event involving 100 volunteers visiting 100 elderly individuals living alone was conducted. Twenty-five community service campaigns are now lined up, ranging from community gatherings, free tutorials and home refurbishments to health talks and meal box deliveries. Most activities are organised where there are disproportionately large populations of underprivileged. Within 10 months, Strategic CSR Network has engaged its partners in volunteer works, resulting in numerous milestones.
1. Over 1,690 individuals have benefited from the assistance of 25 community partners. Moreover, Strategic CSR Network has attracted an aggregate of 464 attendees who contributed over 1,240 service hours.
2. In-kind donations valued at US$85,546 have been received from many of SPRG’s clients and partners, as well as sustained backing, i.e. donations and volunteers from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
3. Strategic CSR Network is now able to support all types of community services, unlike many corporations that specialise in one target group or service.
4. Strategic CSR Network has earned recognition from many stakeholders and beneficiaries.
5. Beneficiaries’ basic needs, i.e. food, daily essentials, basic education and healthcare have been met in part by Strategic CSR Network’s efforts, with its volunteers also providing emotional support.
6. Strategic CSR Network addresses the respective concerns of its stakeholders, i.e. corporations, NGOs, volunteers and beneficiaries, which in turn enhances the efficiency of efforts for advancing society.
Strategic CSR Network will expand its breadth of services, develop sustainable partnerships with NGOs, encourage greater financial support from existing donors and broaden its network beyond SPRG clients. Also, more public parties will be engaged in order to have a larger pool of volunteers available to assist Strategic CSR Network’s efforts.