These days’ consumers are interested in how companies interact with the world around them. They wonder if brands truly deliver on the promises that they make or if, maybe, just maybe, those words are just words. With all of us growing a bit more skeptical, brands must be completely transparent about their brand promise and the way they intend to deliver on it. Honesty and integrity speak volumes, and in a day and age when you are just one-click from being found out, veering from the truth can be deadly. As our Public Relations Director, Larry McAlister, stated, “Businesses should never underestimate the cost of a poor reputation.”
If you are interested in positioning your brand as a community leader there are many different opportunities to help others through volunteer hours, dollars, education or programming. The first step to becoming a leader in community involvement is to identify the one spot where your business and your unique knowledge and passion could fill an important need.
Below are a few key considerations when developing a community involvement program.
Who Should the Campaign Impact?
When considering who your campaign should impact you should define where your consumers live, work and play. If you are looking for a more targeted approach, stick to a specific demographic in your community.
What is unique to your company that can help meet a need?
Use your specific skills and expertise to fix a problem, provide a solution or create a program.
Will this idea really help? And for how long?
Make sure that you are able to track and measure your efforts. Prior to initiating a community involvement program, do research to see what problems or initiatives your community already has, what is lacking, what has been successful or unsuccessful and then define your strategy.
What, if anything, needs to be avoided?
The importance of community involvement is that it is focused on the community. Avoid too much self-promotion and focus on helping the community and the people that live there.