Many religions have important holidays during December; some even celebrate with festivities into January as well. Businesses often schedule community outreach events during this period to give back to the community, but it is important to remember that goodwill can be spread throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.
Choosing to volunteer only during the holidays may come across as pointed and fake. While the urge to volunteer may be the strongest during the holiday season, finding year-round volunteering opportunities supports the public perception that your business is an integral part of the local community, rather than capitalizing on the holidays themselves.
Whether you choose to have your company volunteer with local charity organizations or sponsor a canned food drive, spreading goodwill is a fantastic way to build relationships with those in the local community first and foremost. By donating time and energy to support worthy causes, businesses receive well-deserved attention in the public eye- the cherry on top of it all.
What companies forget is the need to serve their community year round. Doing so is both beneficial for those in need, as well as to the company’s public relations image. Volunteering time and resources for a worthy cause casts a warm glow onto those who offer their time, thereby enhancing the image of their employer.
If your company is looking for new opportunities to volunteer time during the holiday season, consider reaching out to local community service organizations or a food pantry. If your team is interested in making a long-lasting impact, think about partnering officially with a charity organization to provide year-round support.
Some employees may even choose to volunteer for community service opportunities on their own. When companies support their employees in these initiatives by offering the ability to volunteer on the company’s time, others notice the shared values of the company. Building a reputation of a being heavily involved with the local community is beneficial for all, as those in need receive the assistance they deserve, and the organization is rewarded with boosts to their public relations perception.
Building a successful public relations strategy involves consistent demonstrations of brand (and personal) values. Just as Patagonia maintains its charitable giving and activities supporting the national park service year-round, try doing the same for your business when it comes to spreading goodwill during the holiday season. Kicking off a volunteer campaign during the holidays is great, but it should be upheld consistently throughout the year to support the local presence that is so important for all involved.
Image Marketing Consultants embodies this philosophy and is committed to connecting businesses with strategic partners for year-round volunteer activities. Consider adding volunteer activities to your company’s overall brand and public relations development strategies- a practice that is beneficial to all stakeholders in the community. After all, how often do marketing campaigns offer the ability to feel good about a yearlong commitment that is virtually free? Reach out today to learn more.
A Public relations crisis can be the death of a business if not handled properly. Small incidents such as misspelled social media posts all the way to a scandal involving illicit activities can tarnish the reputation of a company in the public’s eye.
Legally, companies must protect their customers. Socially, this duty expands beyond safeguarding their best interests to doing so in a way that maintains a positive brand image at all times. Small public relations incidents for businesses, if not handled swiftly and professionally, can cause a revenue-declining backlash that is hard to recover from.
In August of 2018, one sick employee contaminated a batch of food at a Columbus, Ohio area Chipotle restaurant. When word of the contamination spread, Chipotle faced a significant amount of negative attention in the press. It took over a week for the company to own the fact that the incident, while not directly their fault caused harm to the very people they are supposed to delight.
The response from Chipotle’s senior management team was emotionless at best. Rather than getting out in front of the problem, taking actionable steps to solve it, and apologize for their mistake, Chipotle fell silent.
This silence, in conjunction with additional instances of bad press, caused consumers to harbor a lot of distrust with the brand. Revenues have declined by 5% over the past year, and have yet to make a return towards the green.
These incidents often happen, regardless of industry or the size of the company. To recover from a fumble, companies in trouble can follow three fundamental steps to recover from a public relations nightmare, regardless of the incident’s scale.
- Own It – mistakes happen. Regardless of whether the incident is the direct fault of an employee or not, owning the event is crucial. The public associates the locations and employees of the company as being one and the same, and anything that occurs between those key things falls under the responsibility of the business.
- Apologize – saying “sorry” helps. Apologies further demonstrate the sense of ownership and remorse that is important for building and repairing trust with your clientele after a crisis incident.
- Make Amends – seeing is believing. Saying sorry is one way to correct a problem, but it is often just the first step in a more extensive journey that involves making it up to those wronged or harm. Words are a powerful tool to make amends, but they require an act demonstrating the sincerity of such to have an impact.
These three steps to help recover your business from a PR nightmare may seem like common sense but are forgotten frequently in the heat of the moment. Finding a trusted partner who can ensure that your business’s positive image is maintained at all times, even when you are busy putting out metaphorical fires at your company, is one way to ensure that any unforeseen “black swan” events do not cause any irreparable harm or damage time-honored hard work.
Do not wait until it is too late to have a crisis management plan in place. Neglecting to plan ahead can be detrimental to your business, just as Chipotle experienced in August.
Image Marketing Consultants specializes in protecting and maintaining positive public relations for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a public relations or marketing strategy to protect your business’s image, reach out, and a member of our team will schedule a time to discuss the future of your business in this ever-changing world.
Consumers can see right through advertisements and be made to feel as though they are being forced to purchase a product or service. The concept of public relations is used to create a personal relationship between your company and the consumer. It’s not simply a sales pitch manipulating your consumer to buy from your business and increase sales. Rather, it works to build a buzz and reinforce a positive brand image. There are various services offered through public relations that can strengthen a company’s presence just as much as advertising can!
This season has been a busy one for IMC; event planning, social media campaigns, and taking on new clients. As we head into Q2, we decided to take the time to reflect on some highlights from the past three months: IMC’s Top Three! Here’s a look at events from January through March that we thought deserved an honorable mention in our blog.
We kicked off the new year by adding a new client to our list: The Carlton Group! From social media to graphic design, we have been fortunate enough to work with this retail real estate company and contribute to their growth through campaigns and digital media strategy. We’ve been getting a jump on social media advertising and event coordinating for one of their shopping plazas in Secaucus, NJ: The Plaza at Harmon Meadow!
Did you catch Kate on WTNH today? She was on-air this morning to share some last-minute gift ideas for the people that are still left on your list.
Our go-to candle company, Kringle, is located in Massachusetts and known for their beautiful all-white candles. You can choose between 75 fragrances and their white wax will fit every decor scheme. Some of the best-selling scents this season are “Winter Wonderland”, “Christmas”, and “Jingle All The Way,” and will make your home smell extra fragrant throughout the holidays.
While you’re shopping at Kringle, you can grab a bite to eat at their Farm Table restaurant, and pick up some jams and apple butter. Food gifts make great last-minute presents because who doesn’t like to eat? Apple butter, onion spreads, and raspberry jam go great with pastries or crackers and make the perfect hors d’oeuvre for holiday parties.