Incorporating a charity into your local media plans is a great way to build a good image within your community and can also drive traffic to your store, while supporting a good cause.
It is best to choose a charity in which you have a connection. For example, if you’ve lost a loved one to cancer, then partner with the American Cancer Society. If you have a heart for orphans’ because you were adopted, then partner with a local orphanage. We can speak more passionately when partnering with an organization in which there is an affiliation.
If there is not a worthy cause that you have a soft spot for, then choose one that relates to your business or your core customer. If you are a grocer, then partner with a food bank. If you own a hardware store, then partner with Habitat for Humanity. If the majority of your clientele are women, find an area of concern for them, like heart disease and let them know you are part of the solution.
Now the 3 reasons…
1. Feels great to help others!
We were made to help others so it comes as no surprise when we include a charity into our marketing mix, it creates camaraderie among employees and builds a sense of community to all those involved. And most of all, it allows your customer to feel good about being apart of a bigger plan.
2. Drives traffic
When done correctly it can drive traffic to your store. Whether it is a percentage of the sales going to your charity of choice or product donations; make sure there is a time frame so there is a sense of urgency. Make an event out of that window of time; get people excited about being able to help the less fortunate along with shopping with you.
3. Continues to build a good image
When people feel good about shopping with you, they will come back again and again. Helping the less fortunate shows the community your business is doing great things. When you include them in an opportunity to help others it creates a sense of community. Make it an annual event. A one-and-done event will not help with a consistent image campaign. Making a consistent commitment each year to a charity will make your company look like an incredible asset to the community.
You have chosen a good cause that is close to you, and one that relates to your business or core customer. You’ve created an event that will get people’s attention and will drive traffic to your location. Now, how do you get the word out? The goal is to make it easy! Make it easy for your partnering stations so they can take the information and run with it on-air.
1. Plan Ahead
Meet with the station(s) months before your event and let them know how they can help. If you have a budget set aside to promote the event, then ask them to match a spot schedule. Radio remotes are a great thing to ask for from a radio station. Local on-air coverage is a great way for a TV station to help promote an event. Also, ask to be included on event calendars on station websites.
2. Provide Enough Information Upfront
Create a press kit that includes the basics at a glance. Answer the questions: what, where, and when in a condensed format so anyone at the station knows what is going on and can report it to the public. Include a :10/:15 second read for a DJ or reporter to pick up and relay the information at a moments notice. Give a short background paragraph of your product or service, the charity you have chosen and why. Leave contact information if they want to do an interview or run a story about the event.
3. Integrate Social Media
Include the information on your Facebook page and “tweet” about it the weeks and days leading up to the event. Word travels fast on the web and people are making social plans and chatting about daily errands on social media. Feel-good stories get passed from friend to friend often. Social media is a great way for the details of your event to get passed around the community. It can create a buzz about the charity and your company’s involvement in a way that is a part of an ongoing conversation.
Working on a common goal with a charity can create a sense of camaraderie within your company and community. Making it easy for stations to report on your event is key to drive traffic and to making it successful. Making a commitment to a worthy cause year after year will continue to build a great image within your company.