by TJ Saunders
If you own a small business, good public relations is essential to its success. You can’t expect to realize profits without the community’s support of your company. Positive community relationships are vital ones that can make or break your good name. By building solid relationships within the community, you will effortlessly drive customers to your way. Here are five ways that you can develop positive relationships with the community that you serve:
1. Attend Events.
One of the best ways to build positive relationships with the community is to attend local events. Whether it’s a Memorial Day parade or a community festival, do whatever you can to join in. You may be able to rent a table, donate to a pageant or even provide food. Make sure that any employees attending this event are wearing T-shirts emblazoned with your company’s name or logo. This will leave no doubt in the eyes of the public as to who you are and the business that you represent.
2. Donate to Local Charities.
Most cities have at least one charity that is specific to the community at large. You may find a literacy program, an animal shelter or even a food bank in the city that you have chosen to build your business in. Contact one or more of these charities and see how you and your employees can offer assistance. You may be asked to make a donation of cash or of your time; either can be useful to a non-profit organization and shed a positive light on your company.
3. Sponsor a Team.
If the city that your company calls home has a parks and recreation department, there’s little doubt that there are children’s sports teams that could use a hand. You may want to offer to purchase uniforms for the team, purchase an ad in the team’s flyer or playbook, or donate money that the team can use to buy equipment. Businesses that help sponsor children’s sports teams are always a hit with the community.
4. Host a Fundraiser.
Contact the city’s chamber of commerce and find out if they can give you some insight into the needs of the community. If there is a particular need in the community, consider hosting a fundraiser. You can offer a discount for anyone who donates a certain amount of money, pledge to donate a certain percentage of every sale or, in the case of food bank needs, ask customers to drop off non-perishable food items that you can collect and donate.
5. Use the Media.
By cultivating good relationships with the local media, your chances of coverage are raised. If you are doing something positive in the community, make sure that a local reporter knows about it. Not every potential customer will be able to attend the same events that your company will have a presence at, but a positive article in the local newspaper will make sure that everyone knows about the good deeds you are doing.
If you have high hopes for the success of your business, you must build a great relationship with the community at large. By contributing your time, money and assets to various charities and organizations in the city, you will slowly build a sterling reputation among the general public.