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By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah / Owner
Yes, we’re in the holiday time of year and it seems like everyone is talking about donations, end of year giving and helping the needy. We are too. Beyond doing something good for someone else or “paying it forward,” there is value in getting involved in the community from a business perspective.
Doing community service projects, donating to fundraisers or sponsoring events can boost business (via awareness, traffic, etc.) and take your public relations efforts up a notch. Let’s also be clear that community relations or service doesn’t necessarily mean hours. If you or your staff doesn’t have time, there are other opportunities. Likewise, if you have time, but not money there are opportunities to get involved through in-kind services too.
“Do not underestimate the positive marketing and public relations that can come from community involvement. Many people want to patronize and support those companies and businesses that they see as invested in the community. Letting the public know that you care about and are supportive of community challenges is a very good way of building a solid reputation.” - Kori Rodley Irons
So often as business owners or leaders, we’re approached for donations – of time and/or money. Instead of saying “no” instinctively, charge yourself and your public relations counsel with really looking into the opportunities that might lie in getting involved. Are there exposure opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available? Could this foster new connections with other area leaders, decision makers, or potential consumers? Does this align with the goals of your brand or your public relations plan?
Often times there are a lot more pros than cons associated with giving back. Plus, it will make you feel good and inevitably make someone else feel good too! Take a look at the needs of your community or industry and try to align them with what you’re good at or passionate about. There’s bound to be a chance for you to give back and boost your PR at the same time!
If you’re in the giving mood we’re nearing the end of our 2nd Annual CAN IT! Campaign – Putting Hunger in its Place and invite you support CCMI (our local soup kitchen) by donating non-perishable items through 11/21. For more information, give us a a call at 239-221-2858!
By: Samantha Scott, APR
Having been on a number of non-profit boards and helped many others with public relations, I understand there is a need for information in this industry about 1) what public relations is and 2) how non-profits can use it.
As part of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, I prepared a presentation outlining these two points. It includes some tips on what YOU can do if you work for a non-profit and some tips for using the resources available to you.
I’m including this presentation for your review. Just click the link to download it. Check it out and see what might apply to your situation. If you have questions, please feel free to leave your comments below!
By: Samantha Scott, APR
Thankfulness and giving abound this time of year, and not to be cliche, but I wanted to take a moment and say thanks for all the support we received for our CAN IT! Putting Hunger In Its Place This Thanksgiving campaign. You are amazing. You who donated, who solicited your friends and colleagues, who took time and money from your personal supply to help others.
Today, I had the pleasure of going to Community Cooperative Ministries’ (CCMI) Soup Kitchen and dropping off 504 items! We surpassed our goal! Individuals and businesses supported us. Our team – Alex Fernandez, Annette Venditti, Christina Bockisch and Sarah Reaves – all pitched in. In fact, we had an internal competition going on who could get the most. Alex was crowned the king with 175 items!
Some of our donors that I’d like to thank include:
- Staff at Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery (Dr. Sweet)
- Sub & Pub in downtown Fort Myers
- Salon Adrian at Gulf Coast Town Center
- The Riverside Club
- The Auditor General’s office (our neighbors)
- The many friends, family members and colleagues who donated
It just amazes me how giving people can be – if they want to be and try to be. We saw the good in humanity. It was such a rush of joy to see the faces of the volunteers at CCMI when we pulled up and starting unloading items. I can’t, personally, wait to do it again next year!
By Christina Bockisch,
PR Intern at Pushing the Envelope, Inc.
As a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, we are taught the importance of giving back to the community. Being one of the guiding principles of FGCU, this idea is reaffirmed in classes such as Foundations of Civic Engagement as well as in the 80 hours of service learning we must complete before graduation. Whether you’re a college student or a thriving member of the community, good will and civic engagement is always important. Here are some of the many benefits to giving back to the community.
Benefit #1: Be part of your community
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I take for granted the world I live in. It’s really easy to do that these days considering we’re constantly on the move. However, if you stop for a second and look around, you’ll see that communities are suffering and not everyone is afforded the same luxuries in life. Giving back whether through volunteering or hosting a canned food drive is an easy way to re-connect with the community. There’s no better way to connect than by giving back. By doing so, you can return something to the community that gives so much to you.
Benefit #2: Motivation and a sense of achievement
My nonprofit PR class taught me that nonprofits need three things from their volunteers: time, talent, and treasure. Much of the community service we do falls under “time.” I know that time is valuable and limited, but volunteering for a few hours a week can have many personal benefits. Volunteers often express a sense of achievement, which comes from the desire and enthusiasm to help. When you’re doing something you love, you have the motivation to go back. We can’t all do everything, but giving a little bit of time can make your community a little bit better.
Benefit #3: Connecting with others
Giving back to the community is a great way to connect with other members of the community. If you get involved in an organization that involves something you’re passionate about, you will meet plenty of people who feel the same way. Think about a specific niche that speaks to you – the hungry, children, animals, etc. and see what’s available in your area. Volunteering is also a great way to connect with the organization and find more ways that you can help.
Benefit #4: Goodwill for Business
Participating in community events, making donations of time or money, etc. all lead to a positive connotation for the public about your business. These acts prove that your business cares about its customers, environment, town, etc. From a public relations perspective, it’s important that your businesses target audience and community members hold your company in high regard or at least believe you have good intentions. These are some good options to start that trend.
I hope that you’ve been inspired to get more involved with the community!
Doing our part, PTE is currently hosting CAN IT!, a food drive benefiting Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. (CCMI). We’re trying to “put hunger in its place this Thanksgiving,” collecting donations from now until November 23rd at noon. Please, help us reach our goal of 500 items!
As a communications firm we are often asked to assist with “spreading the word” about an event or helping a charity obtain some coverage for a project, etc. This happened recently and we gleefully accepted, offering to help the Susan G. Komen for the Cure SW FL affiliate.
Today, nearly 200 women gathered to listen to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a breast cancer survivor discuss her experience and the EARLY Act. Pushing the Envelope, was honored to sponsor the event in-kind via donated services in the form of publicity and media management.
What an honor to meet an incredible woman such as Congresswoman Wasserman and support such a worthy cause and effort. We hope this will cause a ripple effect and all the women who attended will share their knowledge with others.