Change vs. Chatter – 5 Tips for Creating Genuine Change Rather Than Virtue Signalling

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Change vs. Chatter – 5 Tips for Creating Genuine Change Rather Than Virtue Signalling

Many companies claim to support small local businesses, yet they don’t have any social procurement strategies in place. Others make vague claims about being carbon neutral, offering flexible employment options, or avoiding suppliers who use child labour. However, when you dig into their practices, talk to their employees, or follow the links in their supply chain, you see a far darker story. 

If you want to make a genuine change in the world rather than engaging in this kind of empty and deceitful virtue signalling, the following simple tips will help you stick to your honourable intentions.  Change vs. chatter – 5 tips for creating genuine change rather than virtue signalling.

1. Advertise after you act

If you plan to shift your team to a four-day workweek, with no pay cut, that’s fantastic. However, you should refrain from writing a blog or posting about it on LinkedIn until the change has actually happened. That way, you have some wiggle room if something unexpected comes along and delays your progress. You also force yourself to genuinely take the action before claiming any good press that might arise from it. 

2. Own your failures

Continuing on with the four-day workweek example, if you find that your team ends up putting in 16-hour days or sneaking work in on the weekends to make it happen, it’s important to share this update. Of course, you’ll want to troubleshoot internally first and come up with a brilliant solution. 

However, if you’ve boldly shared your new work model with the world, it’s important to follow up and let people know that you’ve had some hiccups along the way. This is an excellent way to develop trust as potential clients will see that you’re not just virtue signalling – you’re genuinely sharing your journey. Others will likely be able to learn from your mistakes, and you’ll be surprised at how enthused people get about following such honest and genuine journeys. 

3. Align with relevant causes

Consumers are increasingly expecting brands to be vocal about major issues like climate change and discrimination. However, you don’t have to have a say on every cause that comes along. 

Instead, choose some charities or social issues that are relevant to your business, and throw your full support behind them. For example, a fashion brand may wish to establish safe working practices for garment makers and fight to end the exploitation of child workers. A coffee roastery may wish to support environmental causes and social programs in the country from which they source their beans. 

4. Ask, don’t tell

Once you’ve aligned with a cause or two, develop contacts within the relevant communities and non-profit organizations. Ask what you can best do to support them, and then work to make these things happen. This is a sure-fire way to ensure they get the best mileage out of the help you’re offering. 

5. Don’t be afraid to say no

If your brand is asked on social media to pick political sides or take a stance on a controversial issue, you don’t have to cave to the pressure. In fact, if you craft a well-written statement that explains why you don’t engage with such topics, you can garner a great deal of respect. Since such statements need to be crafted with subtlety and precision, it’s worth hiring a top content marketing agency to take care of it for you. 

It is, of course, far easier to simply slip a bit of virtue signalling into your brand messages and get on with your day. However, if you make the effort to drive genuine change, you will have a far more profound impact on potential clients, colleagues, partners, and investors. 

Featured photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
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