Should Your Business Have a ‘Do Good’ Community Relations Strategy?
Do your employees regularly volunteer in the community? Does your company’s marketing budget include corporate contributions to worthy causes? Do you and your executives serve on local boards of directors?
If the answer is yes, then good for you. Is this commitment to doing good part of your overall business strategy? The answer should be yes, because community relations programs are not only good for the community, but they are good for your organization as well.
Doing good while doing well is a business strategy and one that as communications professionals, we regularly talk about not only with our corporate clients, the ones that are making the decisions about what to get involved in, but also those that are on the receiving end of corporate support – the many nonprofits and social services agencies in our communities as well.
In my opinion, being a responsible business within a community is to recognize the importance of giving back. And it is more than just writing a check — it is supporting issues and causes that align with your business strategy and making a commitment to those efforts. There are studies that say that consumers are making their buying decisions not only based on the quality of your product or service, but on your company’s stance on social issues. Jobseekers, too, are looking at corporate culture as much as they are looking at salaries and benefits when thinking about future employment.
Where do you start if you are considering launching a community relations program at your organization?
Start by having thoughtful, intentional and deliberate conversations about what your company stands for, what issues will it support and why. How are you going to express that commitment throughout your organization for the long-term?
Make doing good by doing well a daily part of your business decisions. It can and will have a powerful impact on your business and your community when you participate in and implement a strategic community relations effort.
I talk more about ‘do good programming’ and community relations on this week’s episode of Copper State of Mind. Take a listen.