Charity begins...at work!
Although many of our clients see the benefits of working with charities, some companies are a little hesitant to shout about their fundraising activities or donations. They wonder whether it will be viewed in a negative way that they might be seen as ‘showing off’ or not giving for the right reasons. Our advice is that these days charities welcome, in fact, expect companies to write their own PR stories and this reflects in a positive way both on the company and the charity.
Here are some very good reasons why it makes sense to shout about your charitable commitments:
- If you are involved with tendering for projects, whether public or private sector, you will be asked about your CSR policy and this includes what work you do for local charities and community projects. If your PR agency writes up these projects as news stories, then it is relatively straightforward to take this information and use it within tender submissions, which can score a number of points and help with winning new business.
- It creates a feel-good factor amongst the business community about your company and may encourage them to want to trade with you. It also helps to raise morale as staff can feel more motivated when their company helps out a charity, particularly one that is close to their hearts. Involving staff in fundraising activities and cheque presentations or volunteer days gives them a new aspect to their job which can be fulfilling and inspiring to them in their work.
- Most charities are more than keen to raise their profile and your involvement helps them. The really appreciate your organisation raising awareness of their fundraising activities by writing a press release about it – an all-round win-win! It may be the case that the charity is higher profile than the business or the company is better known than the charity. Either way, both charity and business can gain better recognition, credibility and awareness by publicising their involvement by association.
- It secures publicity in a softer, more human way. Too often company news stories are all about what products they’re selling or what contracts they have won. A much softer, more human way to get across a positive message about the company is to demonstrate donations or fundraising activities for a charity. It helps to demonstrate the human face of an organisation and to showcase its values.
- Helping charities doesn’t always mean donating money. A number of our clients encourage their staff to provide their time free of charge, for example, creating a sensory garden or play area for disadvantaged children. It’s the things like this, which money can’t really buy, that really stands out and makes a charitable story hit the headlines, both locally and in the trade press.
So, now we’ve discussed why involvement with a charity is great for PR, here are a few tips for picking your charity of the year for 2018…Draw up a shortlist of particularly local and regional charities you’d like to support. This should include charities from within the local area or nationally that you have a particular affiliation with. If your company has bases across the UK, then you’ll have to choose a national charity, but some businesses let individual branches support a local charity too. Choose charities which mean something to your organisation or with which you share similar values. Ideally the charity may be physically located close to you.
- Allow your staff to vote for the charity they’d like to support. If staff all have access to email, run an email poll. For staff based in factories who may not have email access, put a box on reception with the names of the 5 chosen charities and space underneath so they can write a reason why they think that charity deserves the company’s support.
- End the year on a high with an announcement to all staff of the chosen charity at the Christmas party or last day of work before Christmas, of the nominated charity. Encourage staff to start thinking about this over the festive period and planning any fundraising activities for the year ahead and hand in any ideas into a suggestion box in the New Year.
If you need any help with publicising your organisation’s charitable or community stories, either regionally or nationally, call our PR team on 01709 300130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.