Since moving into our new space in East Nashville’s Fifth and Main Building, we’ve enjoyed making our new community our company home. We Groupies have loved breaking into the East Nashville food scene (you can probably find us at Silly Goose for a celebratory lunch, or whizzing through the Turnip Truck for some delicious sustenance on-the-go), but we want our presence here to run deeper. Soon enough, we’ll be diving right in.
The Bradford Group is rolling up its sleeves next week and investing an afternoon at the East Nashville Hope Exchange, delivering our first ever creativity workshop for young minds. (Read more about all the super cool things we’re doing here.)
While this creativity workshop is a natural fit for us in the PR business (our industry demands constant critical and creative thinking), reaching out into a community by any means can be a great way to not only impact the lives of others, but also to share your brand and build a better business.
1.) It’s humanizing. People want to know that there’s more to a business than money-hungry professionals only after their own gain. Showing your clients, peers, employees and the general public that your firm cares about the community it does business in shines a light on your goodwill. It demonstrates that you have a commitment not only for profit, but also for the overall improvement of society. A socially responsible business can have an edge over those that don’t put forth that extra effort.
2.) It’s good PR. Regardless of what service project you are doing, there will always be a story to tell. Tweet about digging up weeds at the local orphanage. Take Instagram videos of colleagues packing groceries at a food bank. Blog about your experience building a new home for a family in need and what you and your colleagues learned. If there is something extraordinary about your service — maybe you’ve started a new program, built a new public playground or raised a significant amount of money to donate along with your good deeds — write a press release and pitch it to local media. Your service may be worthy of a journalist’s appearance.
3.) It’s great networking. Community outreach can offer subtle, yet strategic networking opportunities. When you reach out to an organization with members outside your own industry peers, you’re likely to meet new people with new connections. These new introductions, whether they be leaders of a non-profit or members a board of directors could be the resource you need to land a new prospect or take on a leadership role on a board.
4.) It boosts morale. When an organization shifts its daily grind to a service project, you create meaningful experiences. Employees may be able to connect with one another in new ways. There’s nothing like jumping on top of a pile of trash in a dumpster to make room for more that that can crack a laugh and create memories. (I know—I’ve been there before.)
With usual office barriers dissolved, employees may find a better appreciation of their employer, and some of the best ambassadors of your brand are happy, engaged employees who are passionate about the work they do and the companies they work with.
5.) It’s good for the community. I believe there are few things that are more fulfilling than leaving even the tiniest imprint of goodwill on your community. When your organization reaches out to others, your efforts will be noticed, needed or appreciated by someone, and probably many people. Also, it can take just one act of kindness to stir even greater positive change. Maybe your service event will be a catalyst to make your community a better place to live and work.
Always remember that genuine care for your community should be at the root of your motivation to serve. Be passionate about what you are doing—or don’t it. Insincerity doesn’t look good on anyone or any business.
Keep an eye out on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (@thebradfordgroup) and blog to see how our creativity workshop goes. What has your company done to serve your community? Let me know by leaving a comment below.