Public Relations Marketing
Great for the Community and YOU!
We spend hours trying to determine where our marketing dollars will most benefit our business. As we all know, it is getting more and more difficult to get a return on these investments.
One form of marketing which can often be overlooked for its effectiveness is public relations. It’s effective because it allows your company to give something back to the community which supports your business, and when done correctly, can drastically enhance your company image.
One of the most important aspects of doing P.R. correctly is limiting your efforts to one or two companies. By doing so, you will be able to impact one cause much more than by splitting your limited resources among many causes.
Another important part is to use a local charity or not-for-profit organization. True, many national causes are very important, but making an impact in the community which supports you is much more meaningful to those you service.
Public Relations is effective because it allows your company to give something back to the community, which can drastically enhance your company image.
Finally, choosing the right organization to support is critical. This means it should be something that is not controversial or political in nature. Ideally it should be something the local community is proud to support. It’s also best if this organization has some form of association with artist or art since this is more likely be consistent with you customer base.
My team has found a great local organization to support. It is a not-for–profit called Opportunity Enterprises. O.E. employs the mentally and physically handicapped in our area, teaching them skills and helping them to productive in the community. One of the areas it teaches to its members is art. When we decided to become involved with this organization, it was decided that the most significant contribution we could make was to provide framing materials to showcase their paintings. We frame over 100 pieces each year for them at our cost of materials and we donate the labor so there is very little investment on their part. In addition the Larson Juhl Company provides a deep discount on selected frames for the program so that we can pass on the savings.
Each year at Christmas time we open our largest gallery to this organization to showcase the framed art they have created. The event brings over 150 people into the gallery to see and purchase these unique pieces. The result is thousands of dollars in profit for the organization and lots of goodwill for us. The biggest thrill for our team is experiencing the happiness the artists get by being the stars of the event. They are bursting with pride about their art and really look forward to the evening. Of course the staff of O.E. really appreciates our support and we have built many strong relationships with these great people. Because families and friends of the organization appreciate our involvement, many have switched to our service in order to support us in return.
The relationship has become a win-win for everyone. We couldn’t buy the type of positive recognition it has brought to us, and just as importantly, our team feels great about what our company is doing for others.
Opportunities like this are in every community. Look for something your team can help with and you’ll really be glad you started this program.
Let’s talk about one other area of P.R., which can be a real dilemma for many. I’m referring to the constant requests you and your team receive for donations and support for local causes. It’s tough to say no to anyone because it feels like doing so is bad for your image, yet we all know we’d go out of business if we supported every cause.
Ideally you would like to say yes to everyone while without going broke. A few years ago I read a suggestion by Bob Negen of Whizbang Marketing which has worked well for us. Bob suggested businesses create a “menu” of community support options for all requests. This “menu” consists of several different ways your company can help any local organization.
The beauty of this approach is that it offers a positive response to ALL requests, and it standardizes your company response so that all requests are treated fairly.
The “menu” is made of options that allow the organization to use your service to make money, yet require them to do something also. This way they get a benefit when they support you. An example of an item on this menu could be a rebate of 10% to this organization for all purchases made by their members during a six month period. This way, the more the members of the organization use your service, the more you can support them. Another example may be to offer your gallery space to organizations for fundraisers. This helps them while giving your gallery exposure to potential clients who have never been to your gallery.
The key is to choose ways of support that benefit both the organization and your company. This way the organization is helping to make your company stronger so that you are in a position to help them even more. Don’t feel awkward about creating menu items that also benefit your company. Attracting more business is your job- it’s not a bad thing to find creative ways to get more support.
Public relations marketing is a great way to offer more support to the community that supports your business. The rewards are fantastic when it’s done correctly- yes you do build business with those you support but you and your team also receive benefits that can only be experienced when you help others.
Harness the power of goodwill in retail by incorporating the benefits of Cause Marketing. Create publicity for your business, attract new clients, improve your image, and co-brand with a local organization for mutual benefit. This informative seminar is available for immediate download.