divahh.com
May 4 2011

Tim Horton’s Environ-mentalism?


I hyphenated environ-mentalism in this post because I was just over on Timmy’s “The Environment” page.

It’s awesome! [sarcasm] They have 5 environmental “events” that they deem worthy of a couple of sentences each. The events are meant to show the website visitor that Tim Horton’s is committed to the environment yet there is no follow up. There are no testimonials. In short, there is nothing to engage anyone. Even the few photos are lame.

After that visit I did a google search for “Tim hortons environmental issues” and BAMB! 21,000 results, most of them NOT in Tim’s favour. Including this blog, on the first page.

One of the posts was written in June 2009, 2 years ago! The post discusses giving kudos to Tim’s for their attempt at encouraging their customers to use recycle cups to receive a 10¢ discount. You can read the entire thing here.

The post also outlines that Tim’s have had no end of environmental activists at the door demanding they clean up their act. I guess that would explain why Tim Horton’s has not yet felt compelled to contact me about my concerns for our environment.

They get this all the time!

The thing is, they’ve obviously thrown so much money at the problem over the last several years. That Sustainability and Responsibility Report must have cost a few pretty pennies. They’re so close to a successful environmental campaign but they just can’t pull the trigger to get it to the store level.

It’s almost like the head office peeps sat around, brain stormed, hired experts, came up with a great strategy, wrote it all out, patted themselves on the back then left. What’s missing? Implementation!!!

I’m sorry about all the !!!!’s but this has been a problem for a long time. A problem that Tim Horton’s has recognized and yet, they do not seem, in all their collective corporate wisdom, to get the message across to Canadians.

I’m all about strategy so I’m going to go one better than suggesting they sort this out. I’m actually going to give Tim Horton’s an idea of how to begin. Yep, I’d do this for Tim’s and for the environment because I love Tim’s coffee (I’m sorry to those of you who are purists but I don’t like my coffee super strong.) Anyway, I want to help this National icon of Canada succeed where they are failing. I want them to be the best they can be!

Ready Timmy’s?

Here it is…..

You need a champion in each and every store with the Tim Horton’s name on it. Yep, it’s really that easy. You don’t even have to hire someone new (maybe in some places you might) It won’t cost much but the rewards will be so epic that you will wonder why the hell you hadn’t done it sooner.

I have some strategies for you too but you have to contact me. I want to help but since you don’t have anyone monitoring your branding online, you will have to find me first. I will continue to do everything in my power to stand out in this crowded internet space but you have to point yourself out to me to turn this into a conversation rather than a rant.


Apr 19 2011

Social Media as Corporate Whistlerblower

Many of my readers know that I also own a business blog that publishes content on the use of Social Media in the corporate, charitable and retail world. I do the research, summarize what I’ve learned and post articles to help anyone who would like to learn more about Social Media and its applications.

This blog is a little more personal. I use this space to offer up opinion and illicit action from my readers. I want people to find out something they don’t know when they come here. Something that may persuade them to take action.

Again, I do the research and share it with you.

In the case of Tim Horton’s lack of social responsibility I have not only done the research offline, at the retail level, but I have also done searches for things like “Tim Hortons Sustainability” and anything else that might lead to a reprieve for Tim’s store-level policy.

This week I found a site called 3BL Media. Quoting directly from their website: “We are the experts in corporate social responsibility, sustainability and cause marketing communications. Our experienced team of professionals has helped leading organizations, both large and small, from all corners of the globe get their message out. We are dedicated to helping businesses have a positive influence on society and the environment through information sharing that leverages technology and social media.”

When I read that I thought “great, a company that insists on social responsibility when iterating, or re-iterating, about the policies employed by organizations.”

What I learned was that they are, instead, a portal for companies to push their initiatives to a larger audience. Specifically an audience that actively looks for socially responsible corporations to support.

Ok, so that wouldn’t be a bad thing except that the experts at 3BL Media don’t actually screen or comment on the material they post. In fact, if you have a company that you’d like to promote on their site you can write the press release yourself (they don’t seem to offer that service) then submit it. I have not been able to determine if there is a fee for this service.

Essentially sites like 3BL Media are used for distributing media but I don’t see where the “responsibility” part comes in if companies like Tim Hortons can simply post their material and automatically have a degree of credibility simply by being featured on the site.

This didn’t sit very well with me. I wrote to the CEO of the company, Greg Schneider, and he had his Online Media Director get back to me. I was quite distressed to read several parts of John Howell’s email but this line was particularly confusing to me. “3BL Media is dedicated to corporate social responsibitiy-, sustainability-, and ESG -related missions, practices, initiatives, and events. Environmental issues are part of our focus, but we are not dedicated to the environment, per se.”

Huh?

So you promote companies that “claim” to be socially responsible and sustainable but you don’t place much focus on environmental issues? Ummm, did I miss something?

Here’s the bottom line; Tim Hortons cannot get their corporate initiatives out of the boardroom and into the restaurants. Rather than spend the money and time to do so, they prefer to spread endless corporate doublespeak around the net and hope that it will be sufficient to quiet their detractors.

Perhaps the fact that no one from Tims has tried to contact me is an indication that their corporate policy on online branding is to ignore complaints. Seems so.

While I am deeply ashamed of Tims I am equally distressed that an American company like 3BL Media (located in Mass.) seems to just take the word of companies promoting themselves as “responsible” on their site.

Who’s next? BP?

If Social Media can affect change we can start by showing Tims (and 3BL Media) that’s it’s not OK to say you’re going to do it. We need to insist they live up to their policies. We need to be vocal and loud and engaged. We need to share!

Please share this article with anyone you feel might be interested in TRUE CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY.