This book is a very interesting road map to strategic community involvement. Although I am personally nervous of “one size fits all” approaches to this kind of social program, the extensive experience of the authors gives me the confidence to feel that this model approach will work and the tools included will guide the process successfully.
The reader is shown quite clearly what the differences are between many of the activities which were once deemed as “Community Involvement”. By clearly defining “Corporate Giving”, “Strategic philanthropy”, “Social Sponsoring”, and “Corporate Citizenship”, the authors help corporate managers to split the different components between the different responsible sectors within the business. This was always difficult in the past and was probably one of the reasons that some of the major Public Relations “gaffs” over Corporate Involvement were made.
I really enjoyed the use of transcripted interviews with practitioners and corporate managers which contained many additional approaches and perspectives which were not emphasised by the authors but came out because of the sector specific issues that interviewees noted. Although one interview was conducted with a manager from Shell, I would have liked to see some feedback from some of the more contentious sectors such as mining. The community, artisanal miners, and employee issues play a powerful role in the mining sector and lessons learned here are crucial for all.
The book also has very useful template forms, documents and checklists which help to focus the mind on key issues to address and cover. Many of the diagrams and tables can quite readily be converted and customised into sector specific tools which can be used in the field by community workers and company operatives.
Highly Recommended for experienced and new Corporate Affairs Managers. The “newbies” get a road map and the experienced practitioners can audit their activities and programmes against a sound and tested model.