Originally published at: PR that’s worth talking about - meet new B Corp NSPR - B Lab Australia & New Zealand
In a world where communication has become increasingly complex, NSPR is changing the narrative by inspiring, educating, and informing the people of Aotearoa through stories about the individuals and organisations they partner with. Recently, NSPR became a Certified B Corporation, and to celebrate this achievement, we sat down with Managing Director, Kate Grant to learn more about their purpose and how they’re helping their clients shine.
Could you tell us a bit about what NSPR does?
We are a public relations, talent management and events company based in Aotearoa New Zealand.
At NSPR, we place whanaungatanga (connection) alongside hauora (health) and whānau (family) in all of our decisions. These values serve as the company’s foundation, walls, and roof.
Through our connection with clients and media, we are able to tell the incredible stories of our partners and inspire, educate and inform the people of Aotearoa.
We aspire to be a great New Zealand company that not only understands our Te Titiri o Waitangi responsibilities but acknowledges the part that we can play in bringing this to life every day in our role as Ngāti Pāheka. As our understanding of te ao Māori (the Maori world) grows, we are excited that our purpose feels right.
For us at NSPR, public relations is about connection. Through these connections, we can bring incredible stories to life and raise awareness of purpose-driven individuals and organisations for positive impact on people and the planet.
What motivated you to certify as a B Corp?
As a company, we strive to be a great New Zealand company. Becoming a Certified B Corporation allows us to be part of a global community of like-minded organisations that are constantly working to make the world a better place, which aligns with our values.
We are also aware that consumers are demanding businesses do better across all areas. Ultimately, we were inspired by our clients that were becoming B Corp certified, and so we started our journey.
What makes NSPR unique as a business? Tell us some of the areas where you have the biggest impact, or some of the little changes you’ve made to make a difference.
We take a unique approach by prioritising connection, health, and family in all of our decisions. From the day we began in 2008, we’ve always operated from a home-based office and focused on building relationships with “good people doing good things to make the world a better place.” This has led to many of our clients remaining with us for over a decade.
In an industry where demands on employees can be high, we’ve implemented a policy of discouraging internal emails between 7pm and 7am to prioritise the wellbeing of our team and clients. This has been a straightforward, sustainable, and highly effective way to ensure the wellbeing of our own team and, by association, of our clients whilst showing the value we place on protecting the importance of time with family. Additionally, our team members are encouraged to contribute to their community through paid volunteer time and flexible working hours.
NSPR is also structured to support the development of future leaders. Two team members, in addition to the founder, have become directors and shareholders, including me when I was in my 20s and another set to begin her journey in April 2023. This allows for financial security for women and stability for the business while ensuring continued success for our clients. It was an incredibly daunting prospect for me personally at first, but the mentoring and day-to-day support fosters confidence and growth.
Our focus on health and family helps us maintain a balanced approach to life, which in turn energises our PR campaigns and sustained approach to building a client’s public profile.
B Corps want to help transform our economy into one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative. What business practice do you want to see become the norm?
One business practice that we believe should become the norm is flexible working arrangements. The Covid pandemic showed that organisations can work creatively and flexibly, but many are now returning to pre-pandemic practices.
Flexible working is particularly important for women and Indigenous cultures, as caring for family members is a fundamental part of their lives.
At NSPR, we have proven that a home-based business with flexible working arrangements can be highly successful, professional, reliable, and deliver for clients while also benefiting team members. This is exactly what organisations need right now – talented and dedicated employees.
Another important practice is rewarding organisations that are committing to a better future. This will encourage more organisations to get involved. We need economies of scale to make a real impact, and governments should financially support and encourage organisations to make this happen.
Was there a B Corp that inspired you to certify, or one that you look to for inspiration?
Many of NSPR’s clients are either Certified B Corporations or in the process of certifying, and they have been incredibly encouraging and inspiring. In particular, Ecostore has been a pioneer in the sustainability space for decades and was ahead of its time. The Better Packaging Co‘s energy and determination to constantly lift the bar on a global scale gives us goosebumps!
Do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?
We sure do!
Top tips from NSPR:
- Sign up for one of the B Lab’s ‘Become a B Corp’ sessions, where they talk you through the process and provide tips on how best to approach it.
- While it is great to have someone who is ultimately responsible, the more people you can involve in the process, the better, as it will strengthen your organisation and ensure everyone is constantly thinking about improvement.
- Remember, B Corp thinking is not about being first (the ‘me’ approach) – it’s about the wider impact (the ‘we’ approach). This means taking time to talk to others in order to achieve a bigger impact is well worthwhile.
- Reach out for help from the B Lab team. There are also B Consultants and the B Corp Community will also be happy to support.
- The certification process makes you think about things in a different way. For example, getting services and products you need from someone locally might be a no-brainer, but what if you go a step further and get them from an organisation that is majority owned by a wahine (woman) or an individual from an underrepresented population or another B Corp. This is just one example of how the process expanded the way I think about and do business.
- When it comes to writing policies, B Lab provides a library of best-practice literature that is invaluable.
- Be open to thinking about how you currently govern your business and what that might look like in the future.
- Just because you are doing it might not be enough. Documentation is critical for verification.
- NSPR is very happy to kōrero directly with anyone considering the B Corp certification process.
- Finally, B Corp Certification is not something you will receive in a week – remember it is not about ticking a box. The journey is fantastic for strengthening what type of company you are and most importantly want to be.
A big thank you to NSPR for taking the time to share their story with us. To find out more, visit: nsprltd.com