Note: This article originally appeared on our blog in 2009. We have updated it and re-published it.
Companies that care about their communities and strive to become integral in them gain positive feelings and more engaged employees. They also cultivate a more positive brand.
In an article in Entrepreneur Syed Balkhi writes, “Letting consumers see the people behind the business is a powerful way to humanize your brand. If consumers are looking at just your logo all the time, they might not see your brand as human. So, put your team members in the spotlight.”
Additionally, according to Entrepreneur, “numerous studies show that the higher a company’s CSR score (the more it is committed to volunteerism), the more pride employees have in their organization — and in their job — and the happier and more satisfied they are with their job and company.” Such positive feelings are important to individual and company perceptions.
Go beyond earned media
Many people fall into the mindset that PR is only about gaining earned media placement for a company’s products or news and events. Public relations go so far beyond simply getting an outlet to carry your news. The best PR tells a story. It intrigues. It inspires. It elevates.
There is other side of publicity sharing information about your leaders and staff to humanize your company.
Create depth and dimension with unique stories
As an example, a local video production company has a photographer who is interested in documenting a small social business which is taking medical supplies to Ghana. Supporting the project and assisting her in obtaining donations, or shipping them or storing them demonstrates a real commitment to a cause created by the team member. Sharing information about the photographer’s search for funding and the skills that he will use to document the project can support the cause and expand the image of the company in the minds of consumers.
I’m not suggesting that you exploit your staff or their good works, but that you seek opportunities to offer information that really opens up what people think of your team and your firm. Being in business means being a part of a larger community. Demonstrating how you and your associates do that gives depth to your individual and personal brands as well as lifts the perception of your firm.
Gaining earned media is more than just telling us that you’ve just hired a new Director of Marketing. Give your staff opportunity to volunteer and be involved. Identify causes the company wishes to support. Then go out and do good works.
We are all more than just our titles and functions. We are the people who make up the company, not the human resources. So, share the interesting information about those who are the life of the company.