Eleven good eggs
How did New Zealand business respond immediately online to the Canterbury earthquake in February 2011?
The earthquake that hit Canterbury in February 2011 was devastating with loss of lives, homes, business and infrastructure. The Stanley East Company conducted a flash- survey of company websites to monitor their response to the public, customers and staff within the first 48 hours when people were anxious, looking for loved ones, unsure of what was happening and in need of information.
Most companies had responded after a period of a week and some later, but it was the immediate aftermath when loved ones were seeking information, resources and solace. As a mother residing in Auckland looking for a daughter in a Christchurch office building I would want to see something on the company website.
There was no expectation of companies who were in the midst of it to be able to manage their communications. Although as many corporates in NZ have major offices elsewhere it was reasonable to assume there would be information, resources and solace for all to see.
This was at a time when nobody knew what to expect, panic was in the air and information was imperative. Some surprises turned up, one major company stressed its latest dividend on the front page with no mention of the disaster until the ‘news’ page was hit and several global companies made no mention of it whatsoever.
So how does Corporate Social Responsibility fit in this situation? If this isn’t the best practice of sharing between community and business then what is?
Of course in disaster and strife we all pull together, since the situation in Canterbury many policies have been updated and the importance of social media has been shown to be more than useful.
It is refreshing to see how the eleven companies that win the title of ‘good egg’ were out there within hours sharing a human face and providing tangible support.
‘Eleven Good Eggs’ Good Corporate Social Responsibility in Practise
The corporate face- to- community within 24-48 hours of the February 2011 Earthquake in Canterbury in alphabetical order.
ANZ: expressed sympathy to customers and staff affected with lots of useful information.
ASB: confirmed all staff were safe and provided plenty of information to customers and public.
BNZ: provided lots of good information for staff and customers.
Christchurch Airport: Immediate information easily accessible on front page.
Contact Energy: ‘Safety is paramount.’ Staff out, information for customers.
KPMG: ‘At this difficult time, the safety and well being of our people and their families in Christchurch is our priority. We are asking staff to stay at home with their loved ones, listen to the radio and follow the civil defence instructions. The KPMG Christchurch office is closed until further notice.’
NZ Post: ‘You and your families are first priority’, great public information and plenty for staff.
Telecom: Caring communication, useful information to public and advice to staff to take leave.
Telstra Clear: Lots of excellent information and care.
Vodafone: Very good advice and lots of tips with a caring attitude.
Westpac: Set up ‘giving’ immediately and provided all the information anyone needed.
The Stanley East Flash Survey c2011