While supporting charity or doing good work in the community is good for boosting staff morale and showcasing your organisation’s commitment to CSR, it’s also a sure-fire way of helping your business to hit the headlines. Our Head of PR & Content, Jon, explains why.
Business and charity have enjoyed a long and mostly harmonious relationship.
From benevolent corporates making regular donations to their favoured causes or charity partners, to SMEs and employees lending their time and expertise to help out local groups, businesses and the community work hand-in-hand.
In a day and age where demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility is high on the agenda, it makes more sense than ever for businesses of all sizes to get involved with charity, the community and local good causes.
Helping to raise money or donating time to your chosen cause should always be the primary reason why your business gets involved – altruism makes the world go round, after all.
But, there’s no harm in leveraging a bit of PR value off the back of it, especially if it helps to raise awareness of a certain issue, or to boost the profile of the charity you’re working with.
The media loves a good human-interest story
PR, at times, can be hard.
Trying to secure coverage for product or service launches, or businesses which don’t have a real story to tell can sometimes be a thankless task.
As I’ve mentioned on our blog before, if your story is not newsworthy, if it doesn’t contain a hook that will make people want to take the time to read it, it will, more often than not, get spiked rather than showcased.
Journalists aren’t stupid, most are highly trained and experienced and can spot an advert masquerading as a press story a mile off.
So, the trick is to make your story interesting enough to make them care.
That’s where your work with charities or the community comes in.
Human interest plays a massive part in the media.
Regardless of the sector or the specialism of the publications you are targeting, if you can give your story a strong human angle, you’ll already be well on the way to getting it covered.
And the great thing about working with charities and the community is that, by their very nature, they have human interest in abundance.
Choosing your perfect charity partner
Getting on board with the right charity or community partner is crucial.
If you work for a smaller business, it may be a personal choice. You may have experienced family illness or difficult circumstances and want to do something to help out a charity organisation which provided support to you and those affected.
If you work for a larger organisation, the choice may be less personal and you may, instead, want to partner with a charity which reflects your business’ brand and values.
It doesn’t matter what your reasons are… the important thing is you are taking positive action to help which, to many charities or community groups, can be worth its weight in gold.
It’s not (just) about the money
While fundraising is important – and indeed something which many charitable organisations rely on to get support – it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. There are plenty of other ways you or your business can get involved.
Can you and your team, for example, spare a weekend helping to renovate a run-down park, garden or community centre?
Can you spend a few hours a week mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, to increase their confidence and boost their life skills?
Would you be willing to design and print leaflets and brochures to help the local football club recruit new players?
Or spend a few hours a month on the board of a local homeless organisation, helping to bring a real commercial focus to back up the excellent work it does to help people?
Again, it doesn’t matter what it is you decide to do. The fact you are doing it speaks volumes.
Leveraging PR value
Like I said earlier, the media loves a good human-interest story. So, if you’re doing good work with a charity, then shout about it.
Not only will it result in positive coverage for your brand, it will also help to raise the profile of the individuals or organisations you are working with and result in further support, from others, further down the line.
After all, you’re not doing this to get good PR coverage, that’s just an added bonus.
Purpose Media client SockMine is a firm believer in supporting the community in which it is based. It has helped to support several charity partners over the past two years.
Earlier this year, its Business Development Manager, Ben Lowe, undertook a gruelling ‘six marathons in six days’ challenge to raise money for the Light Fund, the licensing industry’s charitable arm which supports good causes across the UK.
It also teamed up with the Beacon Centre, an organisation which supports homeless people in Mansfield by providing hot food and clothes.
As part of the initiative, SockMine has pledged to donate one pair of thick, warm and comfy work socks to the charity, for every ten pairs it sells, during the year.
We were able to utilise our extensive range of media contacts to help raise the profile of the initiative and secure a host of good coverage, including an appearance on TV:
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Doing good is an integral part of doing well.
Here at Purpose Media, we’ve supported many good local causes over the years, from supporting sport at a grass roots level right the way up to raising more than £20,000 for charity through our annual golf days.
And we’ve benefited from a high level of good media coverage on the back of it.
But we don’t do it for the headlines, we do it because we care.
Everything else is an added bonus.