There’s never a bad time of the year to give – charities always need support around the clock. But something about the holidays just gives us that extra spark to donate to those who haven’t been as fortunate – money, toys, clothes, etc. As a business, charity work is not only personally rewarding (do it for the kids, man) but it’s also good for public relations. What better way to show you care about the community around you than to give back? Lucky for you, now is the season to donate.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas songs have invaded the radio, Elf is playing non-stop on TV, and our ugliest sweaters are being dragged out from the attic. But despite being such a happy (& merry) time of the year, there’s something menacing lurking deep beneath the surface – the holiday shopping list. Retailers are smack in the middle of offering their best deals and hottest products, itching for you to come and buy from them. But, hidden in all this shopping frenzy, there’s a much less stressful and more rewarding part of the season – giving. Most companies show this off by using public relations.
This opens up an interesting marketing opportunity for companies to explore. By partnering with charities small and large, local and national, companies can increase their goodwill and boost their brand awareness all at the same time. Think of the “Toys for Tots” charity program. It’s a nationwide effort to put toys in the hands of children who wouldn’t receive them otherwise on Christmas. It’s a huge success, thanks to all of the generous donations they receive from good-hearted people. Well, corporations want to be good too. Toys for Tots lists several of their national sponsors, who have either donated $1 million in toys or money (Disney, Hallmark, Hess, UPS, and Macy’s to name a few). This may come off as sort of a sleazy way to benefit themselves off of a charity, but it’s actually great for both the charity and the company. Honestly it’s public relations at it’s best, you get some of the credit for helping little Johnny get some sweet toys for Christmas, everyone wins. Obviously, this is not a new or uncommon concept. But it really is an all-around great way to drive brand positive awareness and give money to those who truly need it during this time of year.
It doesn’t matter what your brand sells, or what services it offers, there’s always a way to incorporate social good into your advertising campaign. Some local car dealerships run toy drives, restaurants can start a food drive, and retailers can donate clothes. Whatever industry your company operates in, a charitable campaign makes a world of sense this holiday season.
And it’s something that can be promoted across a variety of mediums. A company can run radio and TV spots, send out newsletters, create digital banners, and especially use social media to spread the word on their charitable program. Just like they would do with any other public relations campaign.
In a hyper-competitive business environment, companies look for any possible edge that can gain in their marketplace. A social good public relations campaign, especially during the holiday season, is a great and easy way to benefit both the brand and the local community. The importance of goodwill cannot be understated for a brand. A customer will want to shop at a business they know is doing the right thing, and that desire is quickly shared throughout the community. So, if you’re business is thinking about which product to market to customers this season, maybe consider running a social good public relations campaign instead.