People like doing business with with businesses that support their communities. Yet too often, businesses fail to capitalize on their contributions by ignoring the PR opportunities their good deeds provide. Sponsoring local charities; bringing in students to explore careers; sending a team to participate in Relay for Life; are all good deeds deserving of attention by local media.
In Chicago, media sources such as Trib Local and Patch.com offer opportunities for anyone to post community news. As a result, you can build high quality links to your site by simply posting your press release to these sources. If those aren’t available in your area, the websites of the local newspapers will usually list an editorial contact or provide instructions for submitting a press release and photo. A public relations consultant can help write your release and distribute it locally at a very reasonable cost.
Some say B2B companies shouldn’t have a focus on local media or community events. I disagree. B2B decisions are made by people too. Even if I am not in your community, I want to feel good about doing business with your company. I am comforted to see your company is made up of real people with concerns for matters other than profit. And when companies are competing for talent, little things like charity events, can set your firm apart from the competition.
A project I worked on this week for my son’s baseball team (and the Palatine Township Food Pantry) reminded me how happy charitable organizations are to have their efforts supported with public relations. Whatever your event contributes to a charity, adding in a press release to provide additional exposure provides a huge bonus. You are helping build awareness for the charity, showing recognition to participants, and giving your business a little bit of credit.
RDO Equipment, a construction equipment dealer headquartered in North Dakota, is one company who gets it right. Their website is brimming with examples of how their local branches support their community. I admire RDO and all the companies like them, who are helping those in need. Isn’t it time to take some credit?
Good deeds deserve good links. What companies in your community stand out for their community service? Tout them here in our comments. We’ll give them some well deserved recognition.