Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint Articles
Sunday, May 19, 2019
 
Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint ArticlesRegisterAll CategoriesTop AuthorsSubmit Article (Article Submission)ContactSubscribe Free Articles, Free Web Content, Reprint Articles
 

How to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business

Community relations is one of those marketing strategies that isnít talked about much, even though I venture to say practically everyone ends up doing it at one time or another. Basically, community relations is when you and your business become involved in your community.

For instance:

* Your business donates money to nonprofit organizations.


* You or your employees volunteer at a fundraising event.


* You or your employees volunteer for a nonprofit organization.


* You or your employees join a service club.


* You or your employees network and/or volunteer at industry association meetings or business functions (such as Chamber of Commerce events). Some people might consider this networking and not community relations, but I would argue networking falls under community relations. Regardless, you get the idea.

Iím going to go through the pros and cons of community relations in a moment, but first I want to encourage all of you to think about ways to not only add community relations to your marketing strategy but also to get better at leveraging those opportunities to grow your business. But first, letís go through the pros and cons.

Pros:


* Builds credibility for you and your business.


* Builds personal relationships with customers.


* Works well with advertising Ė similar to public relations, community relations is a ďsoftĒ sell approach that can make your customers more receptive to your advertising.


* Can be a stepping stone for PR.


* Creates goodwill (and good karma).

Cons:


* Time Ė community relations can consume a ton of it. All that volunteering can suck up a lot of working and/or leisure hours.


* Long wait to realize results Ė like public relations, you implement a community relations plan for the long haul. And I do mean the long haul (even longer than PR).


* Difficult to track Ė Iím talking mainly about the non-business networking activities here. You may never be able to trace sales to community relations. Actually, chances are you probably wonít. You need to trust itís working on some cosmic level and let it go.


* No payoff at all Ė this can happen if you find yourself donating time and/or money to charities that are wonderful causes but offer little advertising and/or promotional opportunities. Now, that doesnít mean Iím advocating only supporting high-visibility causes. On the contrary, there are many good reasons to have a community relations program in place. For one, the good feeling you get knowing youíre supporting a worthy cause (not to mention all the good karma you build).

Basically, you can sum up the cons to this: spend lots of time or money for little/no return.

Not a good marketing strategy.

But, it doesnít have to be that way. You can and should find ways to increase your ROI (return on investment) for all the community relations activities you take part in. And one good way to do that is to leverage them into marketing strategies.

Creativity Exercise ó How to get a return on investment with community relations

Grab some sheets of paper and a pen (I like the fun gel pens myself) and get ready for some brainstorming.

First, list all the activities youíre doing that are considered community relations. Write them all down.

Next, analyze those activities. What ROI are you currently getting from them? Do your customers know you donate time and/or money to those activities? Do you get sales because of your involvement? Are you building your brand and/or awareness of your business because of your donations?

Donít know? Well, then you probably arenít getting much return.

Next, I want you to brainstorm ways you can start leveraging those activities. Can you devote a section on your Web site to telling people about your involvement? Can you use your Web site to help raise money and/or volunteers for the causes you support? If thereís an event involved, can you more aggressively market your services during it? (Set out flyers or brochures or have a really good elevator speech if youíre able to introduce yourself.) Can you send out press releases? Can you have your logo added to the organizationís marketing materials? Or have the organization link to your Web site?

Try and brainstorm 20 ways you can increase your ROI. Some will be silly, some will be completely impractical ó but thatís okay. All you need are one or two gold nuggets to really jumpstart your marketing and make that investment in time and money really start to pay off.



* Your business donates money to nonprofit organizations.


* You or your employees volunteer at a fundraising event.


* You or your employees volunteer for a nonprofit organization.


* You or your employees join a service club.


* You or your employees network and/or volunteer at industry association meetings or business functions (such as Chamber of Commerce events). Some people might consider this networking and not community relations, but I would argue networking falls under community relations. Regardless, you get the idea.

Iím going to go through the pros and cons of community relations in a moment, but first I want to encourage all of you to think about ways to not only add community relations to your marketing strategy but also to get better at leveraging those opportunities to grow your business. But first, letís go through the pros and cons.

Pros:


* Builds credibility for you and your business.


* Builds personal relationships with customers.


* Works well with advertising Ė similar to public relations, community relations is a ďsoftĒ sell approach that can make your customers more receptive to your advertising.


* Can be a stepping stone for PR.


* Creates goodwill (and good karma).

Cons:


* Time Ė community relations can consume a ton of it. All that volunteering can suck up a lot of working and/or leisure hours.


* Long wait to realize results Ė like public relations, you implement a community relations plan for the long haul. And I do mean the long haul (even longer than PR).


* Difficult to track Ė Iím talking mainly about the non-business networking activities here. You may never be able to trace sales to community relations. Actually, chances are you probably wonít. You need to trust itís working on some cosmic level and let it go.


* No payoff at all Ė this can happen if you find yourself donating time and/or money to charities that are wonderful causes but offer little advertising and/or promotional opportunities. Now, that doesnít mean Iím advocating only supporting high-visibility causes. On the contrary, there are many good reasons to have a community relations program in place. For one, the good feeling you get knowing youíre supporting a worthy cause (not to mention all the good karma you build).

Basically, you can sum up the cons to this: spend lots of time or money for little/no return.

Not a good marketing strategy.

But, it doesnít have to be that way. You can and should find ways to increase your ROI (return on investment) for all the community relations activities you take part in. And one good way to do that is to leverage them into marketing strategies.

Creativity Exercise ó How to get a return on investment with community relations

Grab some sheets of paper and a pen (I like the fun gel pens myself) and get ready for some brainstorming.

First, list all the activities youíre doing that are considered community relations. Write them all down.

Next, analyze those activities. What ROI are you currently getting from them? Do your customers know you donate time and/or money to those activities? Do you get sales because of your involvement? Are you building your brand and/or awareness of your business because of your donations?

Donít know? Well, then you probably arenít getting much return.

Next, I want you to brainstorm ways you can start leveraging those activities. Can you devote a section on your Web site to telling people about your involvement? Can you use your Web site to help raise money and/or volunteers for the causes you support? If thereís an event involved, can you more aggressively market your services during it? (Set out flyers or brochures or have a really good elevator speech if youíre able to introduce yourself.) Can you send out press releases? Can you have your logo added to the organizationís marketing materials? Or have the organization link to your Web site?

Try and brainstorm 20 ways you can increase your ROI. Some will be sillyArticle Submission, some will be completely impractical ó but thatís okay. All you need are one or two gold nuggets to really jumpstart your marketing and make that investment in time and money really start to pay off.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at http://www.MichelePW.com. Copyright 2008 Michele Pariza Wacek.



Health
Business
Finance
Travel
Technology
Home Repair
Computers
Marketing
Autos
Family
Entertainment
Law
Education
Communication
Other
Sports
ECommerce
Home Business
Self Help
Internet
Partners


Page loaded in 0.232 seconds