Thinkshift | March 6, 2019
We all know an active blog is good communications. It helps customers get to know you. It’s a way to show you’re a sharp thinker with a finger on the pulse of your industry, and posts can feed thought leadership and PR initiatives. For many businesses, though, feeding a blog consistently is a challenge.
Thankfully, being a B Corp gives you plenty of fodder. And since March is officially B Corp Month, we updated our B Corp blogging guide, which has a dozen ideas that are appropriate whether you just became a B Corp or have been one for a while. And if you aren’t a B Corp (yet), simply swap “sustainable business” for “B Corp”—many ideas will apply.
1. Why are you a B Corp?
“Why did you become a B Corp?” is the most common question many of us are asked (after “What is a B Corp?”). Give the people what they want! Delve into the reasons behind your decision, explain how it makes your company better, and detail the benefits it brings your business and customers. If you use other certifications (such as fair trade or organic), what does being a B Corp add? There are many potential approaches, from deeply personal to strictly practical and everywhere in between. Here’s a good example from Clean Choice Energy.
2. Benefits of being a B
Once you’ve been a B Corp for a while, you can write about the value you’re seeing. Are there unexpected benefits? How is it improving your business? What does it mean to your customers, partners and workforce? If you’re active in the B Corp community, how has that affected you? Are you having more fun in your business? On the occasion of her company’s B Corp recertification, Karen Parolek of Berkeley-based Opticos Design wrote, “Our affiliation with this group has encouraged us to see our business as a power for good, while constantly challenging us to rethink the status quo and our way of doing business.”
3. Working for a B Corp
Tap someone on your team to write about what it means to them to work for a B Corp. Why did they choose you? Do they feel more involved and inspired at work? Does it help them get dates? Maybe your employees will say something like Namasté Solar’s Jane Allo: “It means I get to work at something I believe in all the time instead of after work. … It means my beliefs have impact.” Namasté creatively gathered employees’ thoughts in a single post, providing different viewpoints.
4. The B Impact Assessment
What have you learned as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment? Talk about whether it changed you or your practices, or spurred you to finally write up an environmental policy or step up community involvement. This vintage Patagonia post is a great example—it lists what they have improved and points out what they still need to improve for a better score. Extra credit: provide tips on taking the assessment or preparing for it.
5. B the change you seek
B Corps are in the vanguard of a movement to redefine success in business and use the power of business for social and environmental good—our mantra is “B the change.” Write about the change you seek in your business and your community, and how you’re acting on it. What are you doing in your community to promote positive change? How are you B’ing better? For example, Chicago’s digital studio Mightybytes joined the city’s Green Office Challenge to improve its own environmental practices—and encouraged others to follow suit.
6. Praise your fellow Bs
Are there other B Corps in your area? Do you work with them? Buy from them? Or drink beer with them? If you’re the only one in your neck of the woods, what B Corps in other regions do you admire? Short profiles of other B Corps show you’re keeping great company. You could talk about how their products and services are better or greener, or show how they are contributing to a more sustainable environment and economy.
7. A practice you changed or adopted as a result of being a B
Most B Corps find that the B Impact Assessment reveals at least a thing or two they could do to operate more sustainably. Pick one and talk about what you changed, why it was important, how you did it, and what the result was.
8. Follow the news
When B Corps hit the headlines, take note and write about it. It doesn’t take much: give the company (or companies) a shout-out, recap the high points and link to the article. Here’s a recent news story worth a comment or three: Bloomberg reported that Allbirds is opening stores in China. And last year, All Good spearheaded a clean sunscreen campaign—and got toxic sunscreens banned in Hawaii. You can also welcome new B Corps, like TOMS, which announced its certification in January.
9. Benefit corporation legislation
If your state has enacted benefit corporation legislation, describe what it means and what it enables companies to do. How many benefit corporations are in your state? If your state doesn’t yet allow benefit corporations, is it considering that structure? Follow the political action, noting progress of the bill, or recap news articles and comment on them. Better World Books heralded Maryland’s new law, in one example.
10. B Corp vs. benefit corporation: clear up the mystery
Many people are puzzled about the difference between the B Corp certification and the benefit corporation legal form. Explain the difference. (BenefitCorp.net has great material you can use.) This is most useful if your state has enacted a benefit corporation law or is considering it. When Opticos converted to a benefit corporation, they wrote about why they are both.
11. Go deep on a B Corp value
Maybe you’re passionate about reducing your environmental impact or providing an excellent workplace. Maybe you groove on operational transparency or contributing to your community. Talk about what you do to advance that value, why it matters (to you and the world), how it affects your business, and what you’ve learned that might help others do more. You’ll find lots of examples in the Medium publication, B the Change.
12. Report on the B Corp retreat
If you’re among the lucky ones who make it to the annual B Corp Champions Retreat, you’ll probably come back brimming with ideas—including many worth writing about. What were the highlights? How did the event inspire or energize you? What did you find out about other B Corps? What did you learn? What ideas are you going to pursue? Here are MediaStyle CEO Caitlin Kealey’s top takeaways from the 2018 retreat.