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5 ways to engage with your local community

The usual marketing spend has looked pretty different this past year. Exhibitions haven’t gone ahead; client visits now happen via video; advertising spend is down, because now so many people are working from home, they don’t get to read the printed trade media in usual way. Maintaining your work culture is a challenge and team building is much harder.

Does that sound familiar?

But with all challenges come opportunities. And the big one here is community and CSR (corporate social responsibility).

If your business has not been too adversely affected by the lockdowns, you probably still have your marketing budget – but less to spend it on. So here is an idea: use this time/money to do something really good for your local community – and build better team engagement and company awareness at the same time.

Companies like Amazon and Toyota are already leading the way with this.

Here are five ideas on how you engage with your local community – for everyone’s benefit:

  1. Create a competition for local school children. If, for example, you are a manufacturer, get the local children to make something from scratch, from cardboard or recycling items.
  2. Arrange a sponsored fundraising event, socially distanced of course, with your employees, and make a donation to a local charity. They are sorely in need of cash at the moment, so as well as team building, you’re being a responsible neighbour.
  3. Commission a local artist to create a piece of artwork for outside your company – something that everyone can enjoy.
  4. Can you support a ‘buy local’ campaign and put some money behind it, to help local businesses who can’t afford the advertising?
  5. Send out ‘little ray of sunshine’ packs to your staff – with 5 extra each, so they can drop them off to people who need a bit of extra support too. These could be as simple as a cake, or a pack of notecard and stamps, so recipients can also spread the goodwill.

For more ideas, we recommend you speak to your nearest charity as well as your local MP, councillor and newspaper. They will definitely know of areas where you can help.

This CSR mightn’t sell any more of your product, but this philanthropy is good for moral, good for staff and good for recruiting more people when the time is right. It’s not just nice content for your website and social channels. It’s a really positive thing to do, which shows leadership and compassion.

And hey, if you’re lucky enough to have a business, how amazing would it feel to look back on this pandemic and know that in some small way, you made a difference for good?

Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash

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