The Value of Centralized Localization

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years of working in CSR at Intel, it’s that one size almost never fits all. Whether it’s in the programs run in different countries and regions, or in how corporate responsibility performance is explained, the fit with the audience has to be right. Regional programs have to be relevant to local constituencies. And regional reports have to tell the story not just in local languages, but in ways that are relevant to local populations – highlighting the impact of global and regional CSR efforts at a local level.

To illustrate, I invite you to take a look at the latest batch of Intel CSR reports for the EMEA region – which include country-specific reports for 2009 CSR performance in Israel, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine and META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa).

We also created a Europe Regional Report detailing our local activities, contributions and social responsibility vis-à-vis communities in Europe. It was published in German, Italian, Polish and French to enable our local stakeholders to easily read it. I’m proud that we were able to combine a global flavor, by including Intel’s corporate CSR vision and goals, with local interest by adding selected chapters that reflect Intel’s contribution to local communities in various European countries.

I want to explain why we create these reports, and why it’s worth all the effort. There are many ways we go about sharing information and entering into dialogue on our corporate responsibility efforts with key stakeholders in the EMEA communities – from local community advisory panels to online newsletters and blogs. The localized version of the CSR report is just one more tool in this communications mix. Used in meetings with local NGOs, government officials, customers, and neighbors, these reports enable us to succinctly explain Intel’s overall commitment to corporate responsibility, while communicating our engagement and impact at the local level.

Focusing on Local Value

Localization for localization’s sake has no real value; rather our goal is to develop reports where they are most needed, with the format and content that makes sense for Intel as a whole and for each region.

To this end, we continually work to strike the right mix between having a consistent look and feel for all the reports as a whole, while making sure that the individual documents meet local needs. Creating localized reports is by no means a one-man show. Many regional representatives are actively involved, particularly in the early, information-gathering stages, and the whole process demands significant, coordinated effort. Nevertheless, it is easier and more cost effective for the regions to have a centralized solution for localized reports. Our system, in which the EMEA CSR team leads the entire effort, offers built-in flexibility in the reports to allow regions to customize parts of the report as needed.

Getting “Glocal” Right

It is certainly fitting to call this year’s set of CSR reports “glocal reports”. Although, it’s not my invention, I think “glocal” is a great word because it does more than just combine global and local; it merges the two approaches into a single seamless concept. Our localized EMEA CSR reports package reflects the right mix of global, regional and local reporting.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the reports – from our local and regional CSR contacts, to our wonderful EMEA CSR team, all the way up to Intel’s corporate communications and CSR managers. Without buy-in at every level, the reports would be far weaker – or even possibly never make it past the planning stages. Where would the value be in that?