By Larry Garfield, President and Founder, Garfield Group
Companies worldwide celebrate the holiday season with contributions to their communities: from raising funds for a local charity to getting hands-on and helping with grassroots initiatives, the annual day of service remains a widespread tradition. These efforts prove beneficial for charitable causes and heartwarming for participants, but many companies find success elusive due to limited outreach to their many audiences and stakeholders.
Integrated marketing can encourage the success of these annual events by informing and engaging individuals in a company’s network. The achievements can increase significantly when companies loop in their audiences, and an integrated marketing approach can help boost these campaigns by spreading awareness and generating donations for the cause at hand.
Infusing this approach into an annual day of service may seem complicated, but a company can leverage many of the tactics used for everyday marketing to create a much bigger impact in their philanthropic initiatives. Consider the following integrated marketing tactics for a day of service promotion:
- Blogging: Companies can keep their followers updated about their charitable events by publishing blog posts about the benefitted organization or cause along with how the company continues to contribute to the effort. Some of these posts can even include pre- and post-event write-ups which share progress in the actual campaign and summarize successes.
- Real-Time Participation: Engagement marketing allows those following the campaign and the company to participate in the efforts regardless of their location and/or ability to make monetary contributions. For example, companies can host voting on their websites with real-time tallies which allows visitors to cast a vote for a certain outcome relating to the day of service.
- Traditional and Non-Traditional Public Relations Efforts: Creating a buzz about the business’ charitable efforts not only helps the company but also benefits the cause for which employees volunteer during the day of service. Consider a mix of innovative and traditional ways to reach out to local and national media including hand-written letters and sending them video pitches.
- Images & Video: If a picture is worth a thousand words, video can be worth more. Video can boost the personalization of the company’s efforts: audiences earn an insider’s view into the company when they can see footage of the day of service, and image-driven announcements leading up to the event help to inform individuals while nurturing a relationship by featuring employees. This approach also breaks up the written promotion of the campaign.
- Social Media: Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn about the charitable efforts helps companies and their followers spread the word quickly and efficiently. Social media even allows companies to link back to related blog posts or the site where they host the real-time participation platform. More, it aids good old word-of-mouth tactics in informing others about the philanthropic initiatives.
The continued evolution of marketing and corporate social responsibility allows companies of any size to contribute to charitable causes while informing others of their efforts to reach greater goals and make bigger impacts. Take hold of 2015 by planning an annual day of service with thoughtfulness and strategy, and infuse these integrated marketing tactics to continue supporting your community.