BSuite Podcast Season 2 Episode 2

Episode 2: Purpose-Driven Marketing: A Small Business Perspective

Anne Richardson, Principal and Media Director of Richardson Media Group, shares excerpts from a talk she gave at Clark University. She explains her decision to pursue Richardson Media Group’s B Corporation certification and how the team has integrated purpose-driven values into their heart-centered business mission and growth strategy.

We want to be a model for sustainability and being socially responsible as a business wherever we can.

Key Takeaways

The path we took to tip-toe into our B Corporation journey

While attending a virtual conference hosted by New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility last year, Anne experienced an informative seminar hosted by faculty at the B Impact Clinic at the University of New Hampshire, an incredible program that guides businesses along their path to becoming a B Corp. 

It wasn’t long before curiosity and passion drove Richardson Media Group to apply for and become one of the B Impact Clinic’s next partner businesses. 

So what does it take to actually get your B Corp? Attaining your B Corporation is no easy feat. A business must undergo an extensive application process, identifying their values, goals, and mission. We’re talking pages and pages of questions. The application covers five primary categories: 

  1. Governance: The inner operations of a company.
  2. Workers: Benefits and resources to improve employee experiences and job satisfaction. Going through this section meant making several updates to our employee handbook and creating a new corporate responsibility guide.
  3. Community: Commitment to outreach and relationship-building within your local community.
  4. Environment: Impact of your business on the environment, and operating in a sustainable manner. 
  5. Customers: Optimizing and ensuring customer satisfaction by developing relationships with others in and outside of your industry with shared values and commitments.

Each of these sections distributes points that move a company along the spectrum towards the 80 points required to apply for B Corporation status.

B Corporations are mission-driven, strive to have happier employees, while making the world a better place. Committing to this publicly sets us apart from other marketing agencies. It also sends an important message about who we are to our internal and external stakeholders, the people we do business with, our clients, our colleagues, and more.

The company you keep informs the business you become

After moving to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and connecting with other entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area, Anne became even more keenly aware of the importance of sustainability and social responsibility, both personally and in her business.

When you surround yourself with individuals sharing similar values, you become a source of encouragement and motivation for one another. 

Richardson Group Media functions in a collaborative Partnership Model. This means we stay focused on what we do best – media planning, buying, and SEO, and we outsource things like design and web development to businesses that share similar values so we can leverage their unique expertise. 

By tapping into a network of businesses with experts in their own respective fields, you develop a space of abundance for everyone to thrive. This model creates support and accountability, creating a “community over competition” mindset. 

How we’ve used ‘bees’ as a metaphor for our work environment, to make it a better place

Applying for B Corp status requires deep introspection of your business values and exploration of your employees’ needs, your approach to customer satisfaction, and your communal and environmental impact. Some of these areas you may already be strong in, while others may need more work.

Pollinator health and its impact on the world’s food sources are the focus of RMG’s communication efforts. Originating with Anne’s interest in bees has long been an important passion of the company, even more so now that Anne has taken up beekeeping as a hobby. 

Team meetings at Richardson Media Group are referred to as “clusters”, which is a word used in beekeeping to define how the bees cluster together in the winter to stay warm. The teamwork philosophy here has always been to work towards a common goal, just like a beehive does.

In addition, we continue to do our part in the conversation around social justice. We engaged in a 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. Using it as an educational opportunity, it’s helped build even more trust on our team and we’ve had some great conversations around it.

These are some of the biggest joys for our team in doing some of this work in the social responsibility category.

Seeking B Corp status is a beautiful process of discovery, creation, and transformation. You will find your voice as a business and have a valuable impact on your company and the community.

As of this recording, we’ve logged a total of 75.3 points on the B Impact Assessment, and we started at 45 points! By summer, we hope to achieve our B Corporation status.