July 14, 2015

Why we became a B Corp PR Firm

Written some time in mid 2015…

Last week, Yulu was officially certified as a B Corp PR firm, and we are the only dedicated PR agency in Canada so far in the community.

We join more than a thousand companies from around the world committed to using business as a force for good.

B Corporation is a third-party certification of a company’s commitment to social change, granted to businesses who have the desire and ability to look at the big picture and far into the future when making business decisions. LEED certification and Fair Trade labels have a similar function, but they are limited in the industries they service, unlike B Corp — almost any type of company can become a B Corp if they score 80 or above.

For a PR agency, or any company who essentially sells ideas, being a B Corp sends strong signals about what kind of ideas we’ll come up with, and which ones will come from a place of heart and conviction. It should tell you: we see the value in values. Journalists are driven by human stories. Your customers are driven by inspiration. In competitive industries where competency is a given, being human sets you apart.

Sheryl Sandberg strategized on gender equality in the workplace, and the world wept with her when her husband died. Howard Schultz asks customers not to carry guns into Starbucks stores. And for the scrappier companies, Method made the cover of Inc. last month for building great company culture, and Warby Parker topped Fast Company’s list of 100 Most Innovative Companies this year – both B Corporations with giving back built into their business model.

At some point, we might ask our clients: “What is a lesson you learned the hard way in starting this company? When was the last time you had to swallow your pride? What was your greatest failure?” And with that, we’ll position them as a leader who isn’t fazed by adversity, who will rise from the ashes, who has bulletproof resilience. That’s a little bit of B Corp PR for you.

This has been a learning process for Yulu, too. To meet B Corp’s standards, we raised salaries so all our employees make above living wage (which is different than minimum wage) and changed our suppliers to local businesses. We do wish we had thought of all this sooner, but we’re grateful for this process and for a third party to hold us to our principles.

We think B Corp’s mission and vision to redefine what success in business looks like is an important goal not to lose sight of. It’s not net profit in the annual report, but also the well-being of all Yulu team members, and our place in the vibrant community around us. For a quick rundown of what B Corp is, watch this video:

If you’re thinking about becoming a B Corp, drop us a line at hello@yulupr.com, we’d love to hear from like-minded people.