As a business owner or an entrepreneur, you were probably more focused on getting your products in front of future customers and creating leads, instead of creating or supporting volunteer programs or pursuing corporate-nonprofit partnerships. And that’s okay. Because, what’s more wrong than doing things out of focus and a real strategy?
But, what if we told you’re making a big mistake on your way to marketing success?
You may be wondering what that means – so let us explain briefly: community participation can bring new customers, and sometimes it can protect you from negative publicity.
Community Outreach on a Mission
What if we told you that even if you’re doing all perfectly fine, you cannot be protected from the impact of negative publicity? One small thing, one misstep, and you and your business could fall out of the grace of thousands. Social media can broadcast any event within minutes, destroying your image even before all the facts are out in the open. So, it’s good to have a friend in need.
If you invest in community outreach programs and events, it may protect you from negative publicity and get you fast on tracks after receiving potential “publicity hits”.
Increase your local presence
It’s no longer enough just to count on word of mouth and good reviews to get new clients and sales - it’s all been there, done that game. You need to get people to like you, to think positive about your brand, just like if it were about a person. No kidding, there is a thin line between people and brands, and it’s been a while.
So, you could try to support more community-projects or high-school charity work and make an impact. Because people will notice and (some) people will care. It doesn’t have to be all-charity work. You may sponsor some local sports team or help a struggling sports girl or a boy to get into some major competition. Or you and your co-workers can volunteer on some special local event. If it’s a good match for your business, you may even host your own charity – this brings loads of good vibes and likes, both online and offline
How to boost your actions?
If you live and operate in a small town, that’s even better when it comes to boosting your local presence. Everything is enhanced compared to the big companies operating in large cities. One local summer fair, one local sponsorship can do just as much impact as paying for an expensive billboard or TV commercial. Imagine a boy or a girl running around the courtyard with your logo stitched on his jersey: and hundreds of proud parents and close relatives looking at it. Quite a picture, isn’t it? They will definitely have a different (and good) perception of you and your company.
And not just that – these photos and news will be shared online and on social media, and that’s even a bigger audience. So don’t underestimate the power of good.
Partner with local NGOs
This is something very close to charity. A lot of local NGOs are struggling with money, resources and this is where your company can hop in. As a part of their mission or an ongoing project, some social change or similar cause could be targeted. And if you could relate to that cause, you may offer help in human resources, equipment or just donate a certain sum of money. And they could use those resources to raise awareness or enhance their capacity and make a greater impact locally. All these changes will be noted and appreciated by your local community, bringing a lot of good PR.
Just do your homework and choose a well-known and respectable organization, to avoid eventual frauds and one-man-projects.
You can’t miss with charity
Wondering why? It’s simply because people are not buying (only) rationally, but also with emotions. Charitable businesses get more loyal customers simply because people love their vibe and image, even if their prices aren’t as low as their competitors. Even the employees are more like to stay with that kind of a company as they consider being a part of something good and valuable.
This is a win-win situation. Sponsoring charity could benefit some struggling local organization and increase your status among both your employees and future customers. Worth giving a shot?