Skipton Building Society and Chocolate PR scoop award

Skipton Building Society’s commitment to corporate social responsibility has been recognised at the Corporate Engagement Awards.

At a ceremony hosted by Viv Groskop – journalist, writer and comedian – the team shone in the national arena taking home gold for its Grassroots Giving initiative, winning the top trophy for ‘Best alignment of brand values during a CSR programme’, in a category contested by the likes of IKEA and Vision Express.

The judges commented that: ‘Skipton Building Society has affirmed a strong commitment to the local community through another successful year of its Grassroots Giving campaign. A great alignment – a stand out entry, well done!”

The campaign report noted: “With a PR campaign reaching over 8.4m people and extensive editorial and social media coverage giving a voice to hundreds of unsung local heroes Skipton Building Society is championing its community and its ethos; helping people to help themselves.”

Launched in 2013 as part of the society’s 160th anniversary celebrations, Grassroots Giving has helped more than 300 community organisations fund ongoing and future projects (with another 162 to benefit this year), specifically targeting groups too small to apply for major grants.

The element that attracted the judges attention however was the additional non financial support that Skipton has also provided, and continues to provide, through media relations and social media exposure of the groups, access to a unique collaborative online social network that helps small organisations connect for mutual benefit, and free guides on managing voluntary groups.

Roy Prenton, Corporate Communications Consultant at Skipton Building Society said: “As a mutual, we’re thrilled that with this award the Society has been recognised for holding our values true to our CSR activity. We have been inundated with feedback on the Grassroots Giving programme and it’s fantastic for our customers and non customers alike to appreciate our commitment to helping our local neighbourhoods”.

Skipton Building Society has worked with Leeds based Chocolate PR on developing the campaign since its inauguration.

Jo Swann, Director at Chocolate PR said: “We are delighted that Grassroots Giving has been recognised in this award as it illustrates that really embracing brand values and finding ways to illustrate them by going that extra mile really pays off. CSR is not about just delivering cash to those who need it but in brands finding other ways where they can add value, and Skipton has fully embraced this approach – it’s fantastic to see. ”

Grassroots Giving 2015 is now at voting stage where the shortlisted groups need the public’s backing to help them become this year’s winners. Voting takes place at as well as in Skipton branches across the UK, and runs until 14th October.

The Corporate Engagement Awards programme was established by Communicate magazine, the UK’s leading publication for corporate communications. The awards is the UK’s only dedicated celebration for CSR programmes and sponsorships and the communications around those collaborations.

SBS and Choc PR award
Stacey Stothard, Roy Prenton and Jo Swann accepting gold award for Best Alignment of Brand Values during a CSR Programme

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