Community relations is defined by the relationship between a company and its proximal community or communities. Existing as a brand within a neighborhood, country or digital hangout is no longer enough to earn a company neighborhood favor.
With so many resources available, including money and large speaking platforms, companies are seeking out ways to help nourish their communities and in turn, communities are scrutinizing brands for what they bring to the neighborhood table.
Become the neighbor of choice
In any industry you’re in, you want to be your community’s neighbor of choice. When something goes wrong, they’re looking to you; and vice versa, when you need a little pull through a tricky zoning permit, your community is there to help wave you to the finish line.
How can I earn that coveted neighbor of choice status?
Learn how to leverage your company resources to benefit your community
What resources do you have available through your company that can be of assistance to your community? Financial allocation is not the only way to help. Think about your reach on social media platforms, leaders who have persuasive political pull or services that your company can offer to locals for free.
Who in your community do you want to be your allies? As you pour efforts into causes, establishments or people in the local area, you are setting the ground for a return on your investment. Consider wisely whom you support and partner with — how is their neighborhood reputation? Do they have oversight of affairs you will be delving into later on? Can your relationship be mutually beneficial? By creating community allies, you earn protection against future incidences and regulatory privileges or conveniences.
Positive and sustainable relationships
Create positive relationships with individuals, groups, and organizations. These relationships will last the length of your company’s life, so make them sustainable. Consider your community relations in every marketing and business decision.
Always address community issues and concerns right away. As a powerful brand, you are part of the community you’re investing in — be sure to show it. Include news and support for concerns in your social posts, website blogs, and newsletter content. Pull resources together to provide in times of need and always ask how you can help.
Set up or get involved in community programs through philanthropy, volunteerism, partnerships and in-kind donations. Task a team with finding new ways to improve the quality of life in the community. The more you do for your community, the more they will have your back when you face a time of need or favor.
Integrate the community vision into the brand
Once you write out your community relations vision, adapt it to every aspect of your brand strategy. Your community is with you for the long haul — a relationship that will well pay off in time.
Include your community vision in speeches
Whenever addressing the public, mention how your decision at hand will affect the community and how you plan to execute what’s next together.
By getting smaller, we get bigger
By focusing your efforts on your personal community, the world around us gets enriched by collaboration, communication and an interweaving of resources. If you feel tempted to expand your cause and your resources, check in first with your smaller, more saturated community efforts.
Work with Rosy Strategies
Rosy Strategies is experienced in helping brands communicate and work within their communities to bolster efforts and success for both parties. If you want to add a community relations strategy to your marketing efforts, we encourage you to consult with our team and build a smart, comprehensive plan to make your brand the community neighbor of choice.