HERE’S HOW TO HELP PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS CLOSE TO HOME – AND WHY YOU SHOULD.
By Juliana Reams, Former Social Media & Marketing Intern
While getting involved in the local community can help Madison become stronger, it can also be just as beneficial to the companies that give. Through directly engaging with people and organizations outside of the business element, you can begin to plant seeds for your brand’s legacy. It can also help you gain insights into the needs and wants of your target audience so you can create products, services, or even marketing campaigns directly catered to them. Paying it forward also comes with a potentially tax-deductible upshot. With very few downsides to participating in the local community, here are a few ideas to help cultivate a thriving home base for your company:
- Engage with local schools
- Join a local committee
- Host an open house
- Sponsor a local event
- Volunteer staff time
Continue reading to discover more about these ways to get involved in your local community.
ENGAGE WITH LOCAL SCHOOLS
There is more your company can do to help schools beyond donating supplies. Think beyond the back-to-school list with ideas like sponsoring a reading marathon or science fair. (Bonus points if it reflects the services your business offers in some way.) You could also donate a few of your employees’ favorite books to the school library or give away enticing prizes.
If your company’s facility allows, you may also consider hosting a fun and educational field trip. Supplementing the fees for bus transportation can help encourage teachers and schools to approve your destination. Alternatively, consider having your team give a talk to interested students in a classroom setting about the basics of your industry.
JOIN A LOCAL COMMITTEE
The Madison area is brimming with opportunities to get involved with local committees and public forums. Consider joining a non-profit board, community event planning committee, small business association, or even participate in a town hall meeting. These networking opportunities can help give your company more visibility, and potentially help you solicit new business in the process. You can find our team at many meetings and events for local organizations, including Downtown Madison, Inc, In Business Magazine, local chambers of commerce, and Social Media Breakfast.
HOST AN OPEN HOUSE
What’s one of the most fun ways to get involved in the community? Throw a party! Hosting an open house draws people inside your doors and lets them engage with your team and learn about your products and services. Pro tip: Especially if you are in a downtown location, schedule your open house around a big festival or event. The more foot traffic, the better. Ensure that you advertise on social media and other means so that anyone already interested in your brand has an easy chance to come and get to know you with no strings attached.
SPONSOR A LOCAL EVENT
Whether it’s a strawberry festival or one of the many run-walks in the Madison area, several local traditions could use some help as many are run mostly or entirely by volunteers. You can participate in the local community by sponsoring these events and giving financially or offering advice in the event planning phase. If the event allows, set up a booth with branded materials and provide a reason for attendees to stop by – think a phone charging station or cold water handouts on a hot summer day.
VOLUNTEER STAFF TIME
Consider arranging for your team to volunteer their time to help a community organization in need. While they’re off-site, encourage employees to wear a branded shirt, hat, or ID tag for name recognition. While the focus should be on the cause you’re supporting – not self-promotion – branded apparel can be a smart move from a public relations perspective when the situation presents itself. After you’ve volunteered, take care when advertising the work your company and your employees have done in the community. Careful drafting can help you avoid coming off as superficial. You can phrase your community involvement as a call to action, not a pat on your back. For instance, encourage other businesses and individuals to join you in supporting your cause, and then thank them for doing so on social media.
When you reach out to help people and organizations close to home, you’re performing good deeds while also cultivating a local environment where your company can thrive. These ways to give back to your community will help create relationships and seed perceptions that can help your business thrive for decades to come.
Contact our Madison area digital marketing team online or call Jenny Sanders at 608-827-7800 x227 for help developing a digital strategy, increasing website revenue, or getting more results from your marketing efforts.