We at Yulu are the heart and minds behind Impact Relations, a new standard for authentic communications. Our “Guide to Impact Relations” blog series will explore what Impact Relations means today and how it has evolved over time, along with providing a framework for consulting, measuring, and communicating the impact of our communications strategies.
Impact Relations is a discipline within the overarching umbrella of communications. The primary industry disciplines categorized within communications include: Public Relations, Government Relations, Investor Relations, Internal Communications, and now, Impact Relations. What differentiates Impact Relations from other communications disciplines is:
- Its objective to use communications and storytelling to influence and inspire positive social and environmental change
- Its focus on leading with an impact or purpose-driven strategy
- Its commitment to assessing and measuring the success of the strategy or campaign, not only by media metrics, brand awareness, and profit, but also by its impact
How fast Impact Relations evolved
Impact Relations has scaled dramatically over the last few years, along with the number of for-profit businesses prioritizing purpose alongside, or even ahead, of profit. From students to professionals, communicators are practicing, teaching and applying the framework of Impact Relations to their communications strategies and campaigns today.
Yet, it wasn’t until 2014 that we brought unity to this emerging industry. We recognized that communicators globally had a shared mission for using communications as a force for positive change, but we as a like-minded community weren’t united in our positioning. Impact Relations was being practiced under the titles of cause marketing, purpose-driven communications, social impact PR, sustainable communications, etc.
The coining of the term Impact Relations was a joint initiative to recognize our collective purpose and to define our discipline and industry trade. With the widespread adoption of Impact Relations, introducing newfound unity to our industry, we are now able to evolve and advance our mission and work.
This shared mission initiative was made possible through the communications practitioners who consulted on the naming, framework, principles, objectives, goals, and overall formation of Impact Relations, including: founders and directors of B Lab, Ben & Jerry’s, The Purpose Collaborative, The Solutions Journalism Network, Prosper for Purpose, Porter Novelli, Yulu Public Relations, Ashoka, The New York Times, Carol Cone on Purpose, as well as many senior communications professionals and agencies within the B Corp community.