Community Relations = Continued Good Works
By Elizabeth King
Disasters, pandemics, and wide-spread tragedies showcase the best and worst of humanity. When I watch the news and see how the response to COVID-19 is being politicized or see people hording supplies in the grocery store out of fear and greed, it’s easy to believe the worst in people.
However, I have been overwhelmed by the acts of generosity and the selfless response of companies and individuals who are making a difference in both large and small ways.
It’s the ballet company utilizing its costume department to make cloth masks for area hospitals and health services. It’s a local distillery making hand sanitizer for the police department. It’s a business leader making meals for twenty friends in exchange for cash donations to the community food bank. The examples of community relations and good works in response to the pandemic are all around us.
As Mr. Roger’s used to say, “in times of crisis look for the helpers.” It is the response of these helpers that gives me hope for what will happen when the crisis has passed.
Whether through philanthropy, volunteerism, environmental leadership and/or labor practices, my biggest wish is to see companies continue their good works by incorporating community relations into their business models when the pandemic ends.
I have spent my career helping companies use community relations, or corporate social responsibility, to make a difference in the community and grow their business at the same time.
I can tell you from experience that the companies stepping up to help during this time of crisis are going to see a huge boost in their brand reputation, customer loyalty, employee productivity, and workforce attraction because people want to work with and buy from companies that share their values.
Now, more than ever, customers are seeking companies that contribute to the community and play an active role in addressing societal issues.
It’s very encouraging to find so many examples of companies leading the way during the pandemic and I’m hopeful that these good works will continue in the form of community relations programs long after the danger has passed. If you’re looking for ways that your company can get involved in the community, I can help.
How is your company supporting the community during the pandemic? I want to hear from you!