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Making Small Talk.

We call our Step Changers blog Small Talk, home to interviews, articles, and opinion pieces on corporate social responsibility.

If you’re keen to write for the blog, we’ll send you here to get some more information on what we’re looking for. If normalising CSR is something you are really passionate about but you are short on time, this avenue of volunteering could really suit you. Have a look below through our writing guidelines and submit your ideas on the #writers channel in Slack.


 What sort of content are we looking for?

Timely & relevant, opinion pieces, based on current affairs and issues are what we love the most. To help, we’ve pulled together some content categories we’re looking for from the Small Talk blog.

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Content Categories for Small Talk

Real-world CSR analysis

Like we did with the Kiwibank piece; an analysis of a corporate-community project or drive that had good publicity, and in a friendly way analysing how it could have been improved, ranking the piece against out 16 principles of great CSR. Similarly, newsworthy issues to do with CSR can also be discussed (e.g. in mid 2019 we wanted to explore the Ihumātao/Fletchers discussion)

Business interviews and case studies

Authoring interviews with interesting businesses pursuing CSR-led solutions to community problems, or interviews with 'step changing' individuals within companies as they go through a process of establishing a CSR programme, like a journal.

Blogs on new CSR research

Taking research from academic databases and translating the findings into plain english, in our signature chatty/sassy/upbeat style.

Special topic pieces

e.g. on health, conservation, education, and equality problems and how CSR is being used to solve these key issues. (edited)

Special region pieces

e.g. the role of CSR in the Pacific, New Zealand, or South East Asia, and what can go right or wrong.

Beneficiary, feel-good pieces

Profiling a charity and what project they need funding, how much it will cost, why they need a corporate partner, and what they're hoping the outcome to be.

Step Changers updates

Interviews with our core teams on what's going on behind the scenes for Step Changers and how volunteers can help.

CSR Toolkit inspired pieces

Using our CSR Toolkit as inspiration and creating content that makes using it easier or promotes it to new businesses/industries. Pieces on 'how this tool can help your business be more socially responsible' might be good to see.


What’s our tone?

Great small talk is chatty and no one leaves feeling too bad.

Our philosophy is to use plain english, humour, and encouragement to help make CSR normal in New Zealand. Part of this means we take academic or unclear language and strip it down to be conversational. And if we do criticise a company, we do so in a way that is balanced and suggests what our ideal course of action would be. Our goal is to work with and within companies to make them do better, not to go against them.

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 The publishing process

  1. Join the #writers channel on Slack

  2. Suggest an idea for an article; highlight the research you’ll do and what you think the angle should be

  3. Ask for an editor or someone to help you on the piece

  4. Set a rough date for publication and draft the piece

  5. Send to your editor and the #writers channel, and make any final changes

  6. Send to @rosie so it can be published on the website, along with any images you’d like to use (if you don’t have one we’ll use a stock image). If a company needs to sign off on it, you’ll send it to them at this stage.

  7. Enjoy your piece, live on the website! Rinse and repeat as it suits your schedule.