F. Fatma Çelenk, Corporate Communication Coordinator in Soyak Holding, was among the participants of the 2nd International Reputation Management Conference, organized in Kadir Has University on 3-4 October.
Ms Çelenk, Corporate Communication Coordinator in Soyak Holding, chaired the "Social Responsibility and Reputation Management" panel at this second annual conference focusing on "Corporate Reputation Management in Healthcare, Finance and Communication Industries"
F. Fatma Çelenk, Corporate Communication Coordinator in Soyak Holding, a pioneer in real estate, energy, cement and casting industries, chaired a panel on "Social Responsibility and Reputation Management" at the 2nd International Reputation Management Conference on 3-4 October.
Among the speakers at the panel on "Social Responsibility and Reputation Management" were Dr Murat Güreșçi, member of faculty at Giresun University, Gülay Selki, Director of Human Ressources and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Board at VİKO and Elvan Oktar, co-founder of ERA Research & Consultancy. In her opening speech as the panel chair, Soyak Holding Corporate Communication Director Fatma Çelenk said that social responsibility and reputation are intertwined concepts. "We gathered here today to talk about post-implementation stages of social responsibility projects as well as their university, private sector and research dimensions," she added. Speaking about Turkey's objectives for 2023, Ms Çelenk said, "In fact, each of these objectives can become a social responsibility project on its own. Many companies in our country are trying to carry out social responsibility projects. A holistic approach towards social responsibility projects and prioritizing deficient areas will bring larger added value and reputation to companies and to the country. It is important to prioritize the national objectives according to deficient areas and to monitor social responsibility projects in a public repository. Otherwise people would carry out their individual projects without sufficient monitoring of the outputs. Bringing all these projects under a single umbrella would help monitor their benefit more easily."
Soyak Holding Corporate Communication Coordinator Fatma Çelenk pointed out that in today's changing world, Generation Y cannot live by the values of Generation X, whose members are at managerial positions today. Sharing some enlightening thoughts on the issue, Ms Çelenk said that this meant developing and carrying out social responsibility projects online, with the use of social media.
Based on the speeches given earlier by the panelists, Ms. Çelenk stressed the importance of three main characteristics of social responsibility projects that play a major role in bringing reputation to companies:
1-Social responsibility projects should be long-term; sustainability is one of the key parameters of reputation.
2-It is important for social responsibility projects to correspond to the corporate values of companies.
3-It is essential that top management believes in social responsibility projects, integrate them in their business processes, internalize them, and last but not least, measure them.
Ms. Çelenk added that philanthropy can also contribute to reputation, but this should be discussed on a different platform.
Panelist Dr. Murat Güreșçi, member of faculty at Giresun University, said that companies should engage in cooperation with universities in social responsibility projects to ensure added value for both sides. "Such cooperation helps create a sound and acceptable perception for both sides" he added. Speaking of "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Create Corporate Reputation? A sampling: One Master, a Thousand Masters", a responsibility project carried out by Anadolu Sigorta and spanning a period of ten years, Dr.Güreșçi stressed the significance of the initiative in terms of protecting cultural heritage and traditional values as well as reviving almost forgotten handcrafts.
Gülay Seki, Human Resources Director and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Board at Viko, gave a wide range of information about the social responsibility projects her company has been carrying out since the late 90s and said that they owed their success in their CSR work to the entire company who wholeheartedly embraced the projects. Saying that a grassroots approach starting at local level helped them reach out to people from many segments of the society, mainly students, Ms. Seki stressed the importance of volunteer work in internalizing social responsibility projects.
Discussing the issue of reputation measurements, Elvan Oktar, co-founder of ERA Research & Consultancy, said that sustainable projects make significant contribution to reputation. Ms. Oktar added that research shows that highly-regarded companies have high performance results in social responsibility projects, that companies with a high CSR index have high levels of recommendation and commitment, and that developing projects that are engaging for stakeholders is key.
Among the main panel sessions of the 2nd International Reputation Management Conference, organized jointly by Reputation Management Institute and Kadir Has University under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, were "Reputation Management in Healthcare", "Reputation Management in Finance", "Reputation Management in Communication", "Sustainability and Reputation", "Public Relations and Reputation", "Social Responsibility and Reputation Management", "Trust Companies and Reputation Management", "Economics of Reputation" and "Reputation Studies".