Tag Archives: B Corp

Gong launches a Refugee Press Office

GONG LAUNCHES A REFUGEE PRESS OFFICE TO EXTEND REACH OF AGENCY PRO BONO RESOURCES TO A GREATER NUMBER OF SMALL CHARITIES  

Gong Communications today announces the launch of its Refugee Press Office, building on its existing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and B Corp commitments. 

Gong’s refugee press office will act as a pro bono PR and communications resource for refugee charities without professional communications support, helping them to communicate their stories effectively, amplifying their voices and reaching changemakers and campaigners via introductions to key journalists. Gong will provide expert media relations support for up to 10 charities per year through this initiative. 

Project lead at Gong, Hannah Hughes said, “As part of our B Corp community effort, Gong donates 160 hours of PR and comms support.  In previous years we’ve successfully worked with organisations such as Refugee Support, the African Entrepreneur Collective, and Uganda Conservation Foundation, securing coverage in influential international titles such as The Economist. This year, when we sat down as a team to choose which one charity we wanted to support, the issue of refugees and displaced people felt the most urgent. It proved too difficult to choose just one and so the idea of running a press office service that focuses on refugee issues was born.” 

Refugee charities interested in learning more about Gong’s press office service can view the webpage here: https://gongcommunications.com/refugee-press-office/ read more in the flyer here and contact us for an initial conversation.

VIDEO: How being a B Corp helps with governance

How does being a B Corp help your business excel at governance? In this short video, Gong Director Nikki Francis-Jones outlines three key areas that can help you build #BetterBusiness along with the rest of the B Corp community.

Video text for accessibility:

It’s B Corp month and we’re focused on building better business along with the rest of the B Corp community. Governance is a key measure for certification and for demonstrating your business’ impact on society. So here are three reasons why becoming a B Corp helps your business excel at governance.

  1. Held accountable: Each year, B Corps produce annual reports and these act as a public record of the impact they make on society. This means we are all held accountable not only to set business goals – for example around board diversity – but also for achieving them.
  2. Clear, communicable mission: Being an impact-driven business means that you have to communicate your brand values and goals. So having a clear communications strategy is critical to ensuring that those goals are achievable and focused. It also means that your staff are engaged and that you are able to be firm about the work that you undertake. For example, we can’t in good conscience work for big carbon emitting organisations that are not committed to a Net Zero future. This is important to everyone at Gong.
  3. Whole team engagement: Being a B Corp means that we are transparent about all areas of our business, with all of our employees. Regular finance catch ups ensure that the team sees how their work directly impacts on the business – but also increases general financial literacy and encourages a meritocratic environment.

To find out more, head to our website for more tips and insights on the benefits of becoming a B Corp.

Why become a B Corp this B Corp Month?

If you’re considering becoming a B Corp this B Corp month, you will already know the importance of putting purpose at the heart of your organisation. Here’s why we became certified as a B Corp back in June 2017 and continue to be proud members of the B Corp community today.

Becoming a B Corp

Our mission is to help purposeful organisations communicate their positive impact. As a sustainability PR agency based in London and Kenya, we know that purpose is what drives business forward and defines it. By becoming a B Corp, we wanted to hold ourselves accountable to the highest standard of overall social and environmental performance and transparency – to our colleagues, to our clients, and to the world.

Gong’s commitment to #BetterBusiness

The process to become a B Corp is rigorous but companies starting the journey may find that they don’t need to change significantly. This blog outlines some of the changes that we made, and how formalising some of our existing practices helped to embed them throughout our company DNA.

These practices hold true today. In our latest company Impact Report, we outline that to play our part in shaping a better future, we look for clients working to solve the ‘wicked’ problems facing society and the planet and use our expertise to help accelerate their impact.

Alongside the big themes such as renewable energy, food security, ethical investing, ESG, carbon markets and climate risk, we are also privileged to work in sectors such as diversity & inclusion at work, global health and economic development. Being a B Corp and being independent means that we can say ‘no’ to certain types of brief. We can’t in good conscience work for big carbon emitting organisations with their heads in the sand that aren’t committed to a Net Zero future. This is important to everyone at Gong.

Good Governance at Gong for #BetterBusiness

As part of our company impact assessment, we track our clients’ focus in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aim to work with more changemakers and innovators using business as a force for good.

Board diversity is important to us. 80 per cent of our Board are women and 40 per cent are from Ethnic Minority backgrounds. We are committed to bridging the social mobility gap prevalent in our industry.

B Corp benefits

If we haven’t yet convinced you that your business should become a B Corp, here are a few more benefits from joining the community:

  1. Improved impact, through participation in working groups and sharing best practice with other B Corps
  2. Collaboration through partnerships with other B Corps
  3. Networking opportunities at exclusive community events
  4. Support from B Lab on global issues
  5. Recruitment and retention benefits by engaging employees in your company’s mission

So how do you certify as a B Corp?

First businesses must measure, manage and report their societal impact using the B Impact Assessment, which looks at five key areas:

  • Governance
  • Environment
  • Customers
  • Workers
  • Community

Businesses need to score 80 points or more to certify, considering the impact of decisions on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Once certification is complete, you will have joined more than 3,800 B Corps worldwide. We look forward to welcoming you to the B Corp community!

Positive impact stories: B Corp month

This week, as part of B Corp month, we are charged with telling a positive impact story from among our network.

One of our favourites is from our partner, the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC). This wonderful collection of business accelerators supports local entrepreneurs to drive job growth across Africa. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Collective has been disbursing business resilience grants from a special relief fund (established with help from the Mastercard Foundation) to support entrepreneurial refugees in a Rwandan camp. This is in addition to the business training and financial support that they provide in the normal course of events.

We were lucky enough to be able to support the AEC in communicating some of the refugees’ stories – including that of Karasira Mboniga, who runs a food and money transfer business – as part of our corporate CSR work. Most notably, they were covered in The Economist in a feature entitled, “The world’s toughest business school – the challenges of being an entrepreneur in a refugee camp”, which you can read here. The grants provided by the AEC proved a lifeline for the entrepreneurs who needed to support their families during this pandemic, whilst also avoiding debt and maintaining stock for customers when supply chains suffered.

The fund has already helped almost 4,000 entrepreneurs; 91 per cent of the businesses that were closed have since reopened. On average, the ventures have managed to increase their staff by a third within a month of receiving a grant. Now there’s a positive impact story.

As a proud member of the #BCorp movement, we support #BetterBusiness, believing that it is vital to use business as a force for good. With other B Corps like us, we aim to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.  What’s your positive impact story?

Shining a light on our Top 5 B Corps

As a long-established B Corp (Gong was among the first UK communications agencies to achieve certification in 2017), we have built a healthy network of B Corp ‘friends’. We’re even lucky enough to work with some of them. Here are our top five (though to be honest, we could have made this a much longer list!) in honour of B Corp month:

Volans

Volans is a think tank and advisory firm operating at the cutting edge of regenerative innovation to help catalyse systemic change. It was the first B Corp in the UK and incubated the movement here, so well-deserving of the #1 recommendation slot. It is a great pleasure to be able to work with them to amplify their client initiatives and partnerships in the media. A recent example is Bankers for Net Zero, an initiative that brings together banking leaders and other key stakeholders to accelerate the flow of finance towards net zero-aligned activities. Widespread media pickup, including Yahoo, Reuters and the New York Times, generated new enquiries from further potential collaborators – their network continues to grow.

Unreasonable Group

Unreasonable Group was created out of the desire to have the greatest impact possible on the world’s toughest challenges. They believe that entrepreneurs building scalable businesses are the best bet for solving such challenges, and support them in doing so. You can read for yourself the incredible effect Unreasonable Companies have had here – but the number of lives positively impacted by them – 549,000,000+ – gives you some idea. We’re talking drones positioned to plant billions of trees, converting elements in the air into meat protein, the future of fusion energy, hydroponic farms under the streets of London and so much more.

Danone

Danone needs no introduction, though not everyone may know the extent to which the company is involved in the B Corp movement. Its B Corp profile highlights their One Planet One Health commitment to inspire healthier eating and drinking habits, for example, but we know them best for their collaboration with B Lab.

In December 2015 Danone and B Lab announced a partnership which most recently has resulted in an e-learning and engagement tool to help Danone’s 100,000 employees feel motivated by the company’s commitment to certify its 130 subsidiaries around the world as B Corps. Gong was commissioned to create this tool.

The resulting six bite-size lessons (incorporating engaging video content and more) were rolled out globally in October 2020 and translated into five languages. B Lab is now launching a version of the e-learning tool to make it accessible for the wider B Corp community. Spreading the #BetterBusiness love!

EQ Investors

EQ Investors – another of the founding B Corps in the UK – creates change through the power of investments. In 2017 and 2018 they won a ‘Best for the World’ award for their work on impact investing and their EQ Positive Impact Portfolios allow individuals to invest in companies that are creating solutions to social and environmental problems. This is a pensions and investment firm that is really helping companies and individuals to ‘make (their) money matter’ – another campaign we’re wholly on board with.

ClimateCare

As you know, climate change is a topic very close to our hearts here at Gong. We admire ClimateCare – based (like us) in the UK and Kenya – for its work towards a sustainable future with climate neutral and net zero programmes, using both private and public finance. They even have a handy carbon calculator to help us work out how much carbon we need to offset, as well as 50 ideas for shrinking our carbon footprint.

 

Who would you add to this list?