Community relations is one of those marketing strategies that isn’t talked about much, even though I venture to say practically everyone ends up doing it at one time or another. Basically, community relations is when you and your business become involved in your community. For instance:
* Your business donates money to nonprofit organizations.
* You or your employees volunteer at a fundraising event.
* You or your employees volunteer for a nonprofit organization.
* You or your employees join a service club.
* You or your employees network and/or volunteer at industry association meetings or business functions (such as Chamber of Commerce events). Some people might consider this networking and not community relations, but I would argue networking falls under community relations. Regardless, you get the idea.
I’m going to go through the pros and cons of community relations in a moment, but first I want to encourage all of you to think about ways to not only add community relations to your marketing strategy but also to get better at leveraging those opportunities to grow your business. But first, let’s go through the pros and cons. Continue reading