We’ve spent quite a bit of time over our last three blogs talking about the many benefits of Worthy Cause Marketing to your agency, not to mention to your community, how to identify worthy causes to support, and how to go about creating your community cause campaigns.
But your campaigns will go nowhere fast if no one knows about them, right? And since your Public Relations Department most likely consists of you, perhaps with some nominal help from your staff, just exactly how are you going to spread the word?
Well, we touched on some basics of promotion in our last blog post. (This might be a good time to refer back to Creating a Campaign posted May 15, 2016, to refresh your memory.) We discussed the importance of featuring your campaigns on your website in a variety of ways, as well as on those of your beneficiary organizations’ websites.
But wait…there’s more!
Additionally, there are four main areas we highly recommend targeting which will most effectively keep your community in the loop, enabling you to reap the greatest rewards:
1. Press Releases
The easiest way to let people know about your community cause initiatives is through the judicious use of well-written press releases. An effective press release will contain a brief snapshot of your cause and explain the pertinent details of the campaign in the hope that it will be picked up as a story by local new agencies. So be sure the press release contains actual news-worthy material – about your agency, your Community Program and your worthy cause.
At AMM, our team writes high-quality press releases our clients, which I’m happy to say have resulted in numerous local newspaper articles and television spots. The team uses the press releases to introduce and engage reporters within our clients' communities. Local newspapers, radio stations, and TV news channels have picked up the stories and provided priceless free publicity, both for our clients’ insurance agencies and for the organizations benefitting from the campaigns.
In addition to generating exposure for your grassroots beneficiary, resulting in new volunteers and donors, press releases put your agency front and center in your city’s local news, creating credibility and contributing to your reputation as a caring, trusted advisor to your community.
And the recommendations flow.
2. Monthly Periodical
We can’t stress just how vital it is that you have a monthly newsletter as a way to keep in touch with your clients, business partners and prospects.
At AMM, we publish a monthly print and digital magazine for our clients called Our Hometown, with the tagline ‘live well and thrive’, which contains a variety of interesting tidbits for readers. Featuring recipes, book reviews, timely articles and agency-specific news, it’s a non-salesy way to remind readers of our clients’ trusted advisor status in their lives. It also prominently features each community cause campaign, as well as the names of donors to the previous campaign and how much money was raised. We’ve found that when readers see the names of previous contributors, it serves as ‘social proof’, making them more likely to jump on the bandwagon to support future causes themselves.
Keep in mind, a digital edition of your newsletter allows for distribution to thousands of people in a matter of minutes, at zero cost. For so many reasons, we believe that a monthly newsletter or periodical of some sort is vital not only to promoting your community cause campaigns, but also to your public relations efforts in general.
3. Social Media
Like it or not, social media is here to stay, and it’s a crucial component in your agency’s public relations. In fact, statistics reveal that 69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site, making mastery of this tool truly critical.
Posting regularly to social media informs your clients, friends, family, neighbors and business partners of all the good your agency is doing in the community and encourages them to share the posts on their own pages. Once the sharing begins, it grows exponentially, allowing you to reach an audience to which you wouldn’t otherwise have access. You can inform readers about the on-going progress of your community cause campaigns and remind them of how they can easily help further the betterment of their community.
At AMM, we post multiple times a day to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. for each of our clients, and have actually found that Facebook community cause post sharing can put you in the top 10% of agencies in garnering recommendations.
Awesome results, huh?
Community cause sharing shows the people of your community that your agency is doing something radically different from other agencies in town. And being seen giving back to better your community enhances your reputation, generating further familiarity, trust and loyalty.
And the recommendations flow.
Some may argue that volunteering isn’t technically promotions-related. But it is – it’s just that it’s also so very much more. We’ll be talking more about volunteering and the benefits to your agency’s team morale in later posts, but volunteering can also be a powerful promotional tool; so often it seems that doing the right thing simply works out that way.
While the personal and team-building benefits are truly incalculable, sharing your volunteer efforts on social media can also be a great PR boon. Invite others to join you. Post pictures of your team volunteering for your community cause beneficiaries, as well as for any other local organizations you feel passionate about. It shows that you don’t just talk the talk – you walk the walk. As your posts are shared, your community will see that you truly are a business with a heart.
Pretty powerful stuff.
Granted, there are various moving parts which you’ll need to master in order to effectively promote your community cause campaigns. But the benefits you realize will be well worth it:
Because it won’t happen overnight, but buzz will grow.
As local newspaper and TV stations get wind of your campaigns…as people see proof of the good you’re doing in your monthly periodical…as social media explodes with your causes and volunteer efforts…people will more and more view your agency as a trusted force for good in your community.
People will begin to feel they know and trust you, and therefore can trust you with their money and their future dreams.
Superheroes of the world, unite!
And, hey, trust me – that cape is going to look great on you!
Next up: The AMM Advantage
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