In my last Passle I spoke about visiting the London whisky show with a candidate of mine to celebrate their new role. You can read it by clicking here.
A memory from that day that I’ll cherish forever was meeting and talking to Richard Paterson – for those of you not familiar with the man they call ‘The Nose’, he’s arguably the greatest whisky blender of all time, and in recent years used his considerable skill to blend a faithful recreation of the Scotch found at Ernest Shackleton’s 1908 base at Cape Royds.
The replica blend, bottled and produced as a special edition for collecting and enjoying by enthusiasts all over the world, resulted in a substantial donation to the Antarctic Heritage Trust which works to preserve and care for some of our planet’s most endangered environments – (follow the link at the bottom of this blog to find out more about their excellent work.)
On International Scotch Day this got me thinking about new and existing ways firms in the for-profit sector can also do more to benefit society as a whole. What I like about the Shackleton replica (in addition to the taste, and the money raised…) is that it creates a real link between the business and the charity, an association that stays in the mind of all who encounter it and, in many cases, inspires them to do their bit, too.
The balance between bottom line and higher purpose can be difficult to strike, and I find going beyond showing your brand in a positive light to doing something which helps even those who don’t buy from you is a good litmus test.
Heineken’s responsible drinking advert showing legendary Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart say ‘Not for me thanks, I’m driving’ sends a message which benefits those who don’t drink Heineken (or beer, or any form of alcohol at all…), much as the work of the Antarctic Heritage Trust benefits the entire globe even for those who never visit the Antarctic (and didn’t buy the whisky!).
Closer to home, one of the reasons I’m proudest to work for Lawrence Harvey is our partnership with the OPERA Global Youth Foundation, an organisation fighting youth unemployment by partnering with recruitment agencies like ours to help teach employment skills and provide career guidance. OPERA’s work, addressing a huge societal issue and improving the life of every individual young person they work with, also allows one of the biggest industries in the UK to give something back and help an entire demographic we might not otherwise be able to place in a role.
What would you like to see your industry raise a glass to, and do their bit to help? Whatever your act of corporate citizenship, I’ll drink to that…
The whisky proved so popular that in late 2012, a second edition, ‘The Journey’, was released. Both editions have resulted in a substantial donation to the Trust’s conservation work in Antarctica.