Community outreach programs build brand awareness and foster goodwill.
As the CEO of a mid-market company, invest in community outreach as part of your brand awareness strategy. Community involvement not only strengthens your brand’s position in the market but also gives you unique opportunities to interact with people who are significant stakeholders and future clients for your products or services.
Benefits of Community Outreach
According to the National Center for the Middle Market, building community awareness can help ensure their career opportunities are known. It also benefits both sides since companies can share their stories (exposing their brand) while discovering good candidates for their talent pool. For mid-market organizations, these outreach efforts increase public trust by building relationships with stakeholders essential for successful long-term growth. They also increase visibility and provide networking opportunities to connect with other local businesses, community leaders, and potential customers and employees.
Steps to Implementing a Community Outreach Program
- In order to develop a successful outreach program, you first need to identify the goal for the outreach. Are you going to focus on a particular issue within the community, educate the community on a specific topic or issue, or perhaps work to change a local policy? If you are unsure of where you can impact your local community, start by conducting a needs assessment.
- Once you identify your issue, place a list of stakeholders to whom you want to make a difference. They can be any individual indirectly or directly affected by your program. Don’t forget that they will determine the success of your program. By getting their buy-in from the start and keeping them involved throughout, you will have a better chance of achieving the hoped-for goals and success of the program. Remember, people support what they help to create.
- Next is to create a strategy. What will success look like? What local community groups will be hard to reach? Take the necessary time to develop a sound system that establishes clear goals and how to achieve them.
- Start assembling a team of individuals who will assist you in making your goals a reality after you have a relatively straightforward notion of what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Keep track of your progress, and set dates for essential goals and key performance indicators.
Don’t forget to recognize accomplishments, no matter how small. This will go a long way to keeping everyone motivated and on track. And keep in mind that community outreach is an ongoing endeavor, so don’t get discouraged by a lack of progress during the initial stages of the program.
Mid-market business leaders should make community outreach a critical segment of their branding plan. It can be challenging initially, but investing in the right initiatives will pay off. Not only does it boast greater brand loyalty, but it showcases your company’s commitment to responsible corporate stewardship. The marketing potential from a community outreach strategy is endlessly valuable; positive ROI and consumer impression are waiting for those willing to expand beyond traditional advertising.
Making your mark on the local neighborhood is a surefire way to get your company noticed in this competitive atmosphere and increase brand loyalty with customers too!