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This year’s conference of the Worshipful Company of Marketors looked at how responsible, socially engaged companies are embedding community engagement throughout their business and marketing strategies. Reciprocate Chair Tony Stratton was a speaker.

The conference on 2nd September, which was also attended by OCF Chief Executive Jayne Woodley, brought together the latest thinking on corporate responsibility and marketing from leading practitioners, who contributed their own ideas and stories in break-out sessions throughout the day. Amongst the speakers was Tony Stratton, Chair of OCF’s responsible business group Reciprocate, who talked about how he has worked with the community foundation to engage small and medium sized companies in charitable and community projects in Oxfordshire.

Highlights included a session by Liveryman Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer at Unilever, a company that has abandoned the concept of a separate department responsible for corporate social responsibility (CSR), instead incorporating community-minded, socially engaged approaches into everything the business does. This reflects recent trends amongst responsible businesses, who are moving away from tokenism and trying to become all-round better businesses for the communities in which they and their customers live and operate.

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, CMO at Aviva, talked about her experience of charitable secondment. In November 2014 she announced that, with her company’s backing, she was taking a two-year break from her CMO role at Aviva to take on an executive advisor role at Project Everyone. Started by Love Actually director and Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis, the purpose of Project Everyone is to contribute to the effort to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development goals on poverty and climate change. Mackenzie was brought in to raise awareness of the goals. In October 2016 she will take over as Chief Executive of Business in the Community.

Conference lead David Pearson of the Worshipful Company of Marketors said of the conference: “I think business leaders and marketors who care about falling trust in business, the need for sustainable business models, the growing importance of the third sector, and the need for relevant purpose in business will all benefit from the day.”

Find out more about our local responsible business initiative Reciprocate