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When I was a junior in high school, my life changed forever. My mom was diagnosed with cancer and I was faced with the harsh reality that life is short. Her cancer shaped the way I live my life, even now two decades later.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and last Sunday I walked with my mom – who has been cancer free for 24 years – in the San Diego American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. It’s a noncompetitive walk supporting the American Cancer Society’s unique mission to fight breast cancer on four fronts: research, education, advocacy and service programs.
Getting involved in a cause you believe in is not only good for yourself and the cause – it can also be good for your business. Yes, you can do good, and do good for your business, at the same time.
The key to getting community relations to work for you is to leverage your involvement into positive marketing. Do your customers know you donate time and/or money to those activities? Do you get sales because of your involvement? Are you building your brand and/or awareness of your business because of your donations? If you’re not sure, then consider some of the following activities:
- Devote a section on your website telling people about your involvement
- Use your website to help raise money and/or volunteers for the causes you support
- If there’s an event involved, market your services during it
- Send out press releases detailing your involvement
- Have your logo added to the organization’s marketing materials
- Have the organization link to your website
There are lots of benefits when you and your business become involved in the community, including building credibility for you and your business; building relationship with customers; positive public relations; and general goodwill.
Whatever cause you get involved with, make sure it is coming from the heart. People can sense if you’re not being sincere, so make sure you truly do believe in the cause if you’re going to support it. With any luck, you’ll discover your own win-win-win situation.