I’m going to mention two corporations to illustrate this. Each one has a distinctive and unique factor of their own, Ford Motor Company and IBM.
FOMOCO, or as we all know it by ‘Ford Motor Company’, is headed by CEO Alan Mulally. It is a motor company that manufactures vehicles, vehicle parts and other equipment, and conducts a great amount of research and development.
Currently, they are involved with Breast Cancer awareness to give a good positive image that Ford does care. It has dedicated websites that it runs and you can access it from Ford.com site just to connect with regular people via Facebook, Twitter and other social media, not only to promote their brand, but also to identify themselves with the masses so that it creates a transparent bond, a moral bond with regular people that share the same ideology, way of thinking, or support the same cause. Thus it creates a strong relation in which the population start to identify themselves with the company.
In essence, people that have identified themselves with a company’s causes or agendas will support and/or defend the company’s actions, and because of such an intangible relation has been created, people would be more appealed to buy products from this company, and in return, Ford Company would make a profit out of it.
IBM on the other hand, the overall message from CEO Samuel J. Palmisano is clear: “IBM strives to be a socially responsible member of the communities in which it does business.” Simply put, but there could be other hidden factors in that statement, such as enhancing the image of IBM worldwide or enhancing the image of the US in the minds of people that are being catered to, thus bolstering the homeland security position.
As for being social, IBM website is anything but social. It’s considered very technical-oriented and even their community links are more suited for technical people around the world. All of their corporate social activity is behind closed doors and not advertised until the last moment if so. But to be fair, they are doing this to promote their services as well to find a solution to resolve problems that might have occurred with one of their products, and to show that IBM does care about its products even though you have to pay for most of their technical services that they offer.
Of course there are many ways to convey a message, but to convey a message that is effective yet appealing and appeasing to everyone is very challenging, though not impossible.
We as Muslims have to be socially responsible towards each other, to connect with and establish bonds & relations with one another. We have to promote each other so that we strengthen the ties between each other in order to brainstorm ideas, or tackle issues that matter to us, to our children and most importantly to our Muslim community. That is the first building block to promote our-selves from within, and then implement it throughout the entire nation; because with the current young generation that is growing up, and of course I’m not painting a brush on the whole Muslim community, but rather I’m pointing out what I have observed is that we have many great ideas and opportunities for the children, but it doesn’t follow them when they get older. We kind of stop at a certain age or limit and those children become adults, and the next thing is that they disconnect themselves from the Masjid or the community. Of course this is not everyone, but the rate of such cases is growing.
Thus we need the adults - the fathers, the mothers, the community as a whole to come together and interact socially with one another, and keep those activities, of all sorts that might appeal to the youth and build more focused youth that will be our bright future in the professional arena - from doctors, lawyers, politicians who we lack greatly, to media persons who contribute to another important yet forgotten field; we need people in the media due to the misconceptions present in it; and also in other areas of study.
Having them in those fields continues the relation of being connected with the community and helps and assists one another in being strong. And I will end with the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) that sums it all: In Sahih Bukhari 73:40 Narrated by An-Nu’man bin Bashir: “Allah Apostle said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.”