When you run your own agency, whatever your location, size or niche, being a figure in the local business community really pays dividends. From awareness of your brand to useful networking opportunities, being a company that people in your local business scene are used to seeing or hearing about in a positive light can offer a lot of invaluable benefits, but it isn’t always easy to build your profile when you are a new company or have opened a location in a new area.
One of the best and easiest ways to gain opportunities to increase your visibility locally is to partner with a local cause. Whether it is a charity, community group or a school, working with them can give you lots of ways to be seen by people, and of course, you’ll also be doing something that helps people in your area.
Here are some thoughts on using charity and community work to strengthen your agency’s local appeal:
What Can Your Business Do?
The size and profile of your business will affect what you actually have to offer as a supporter of a charity, school or community group, but even the smallest business with the lowest budget can do something. Even just sending out cards at Christmas that you bought from a local charity with their branding on can send out a good message about your local focus and bring in some funds for them. If you are in a position to, however, it is by being involved with events that you’ll get the best returns. Whether it is holding or attending fundraising events as a representative of your business or sponsoring things with your business’ brand, you can get a lot of visibility and networking opportunities this way, and probably have some fun, too.
Another good way to get publicity is by doing things off of your own back to raise money for your chosen charity or group. Whether you and your team want to do something specific that will capture the imagination of the community and gain some coverage in local newspapers and on blogs, like a sponsored skydive, or you just do some simple fundraising in the office, it can be a good way to give to your chosen cause while raising the money from your own network of people, rather than your budget.
Choosing the Right Cause
It is best to pick just one or two causes to partner with, so you aren’t spreading what you can do too thinly to really build good relationships out of it or make a difference. If you already know of a charity, school or community group that is the perfect fit this is easy, but if not, have a brainstorm with your team and try and find a cause you all agree is a good one to help, and which also fits well with your brand.
If you are short on ideas, in recruitment often things concerned with education, or opportunities for less fortunate people are a good match in terms of vision.
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