COMMUNITY RELATIONS. OR Corporate social Responsibility oR non-profit PR or Public Affairs. But first, the KONY 2012 story continues….
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COMMUNITY RELATIONS OR Corporate social Responsibility oR non-profit PR or Public Affairs
But first, the KONY 2012 story continues… "We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions did. While that was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason -- and, because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard,” said Danica Russell. She denied her husband had substance abuse or drinking problems. "On our end the focus remains only on his health, and protecting our family. We'll take care of Jason, you take care of the work. The message of the film remains the same: stop at nothing," she added.
Community Relations is… Cheesy but true… • Strategy to establish/maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the community • Accepting the inherent civic responsibility and taking interest in the well-being of the community • Community involvement to build goodwill/visibility
Community Relations looks like… • Environmental Programs • Scholarship Programs • Social/Educational Programs • Children’s Activities • Sponsoring a local sports team or event • Urban renewal Projects • Performing Arts Programs • Support of Community Organizations PSST – It does NOT look like this.
An Awesomely BAD Example… July 2008 – Virgin Mobile wanted to collect clothing donations for homeless youth. They launched “Strip2Clothe” a national web campaign that encouraged young people to post striptease videos to help raise donations. Tagline: “You take off yours, we donate ours.” The public (obviously) freaked out. They back-pedaled. “As we were raising the level of awareness, we realized the campaign was also causing some controversy. Some people didn’t like the “Strip” in “Strip2Clothe” and felt its connotations were inappropriate. We’ve listened to all the input and ideas and believe it’s time to take the campaign to the next level.” The campaign was changed to “Blank2Clothe.” Tagline: “At Blank2Clothe almost any verb goes – whether it be Skydive2Clothe, Yodel2Clothe, Bark2Clothe, or Contort2Clothe. You choose how you want to donate new clothing.” You can’t make this stuff up!
Community Relations because… It makes good business sense. • Long-term benefits include community support, loyalty, improved public image and employee morale. Our communities are increasingly multicultural. • Being sensitive to diversity, nuances in language and differences in style/culture are an extension of social responsibility in today’s world. It’s like insurance. • When/if something negative happens, you have an established track record to fall back on. Cynical? Maybe. True? Definitely.
Community Social Responsibility • Step 1: Giving Money. • A 2004 study found: Corporate giving in US and abroad – $7.8 billion; 54% of US companies giving to health and human services • Step 2: Realizing that “giving” means more than just writing a check. • GE committed to reducing greenhouse emissions by 1% by 2012 • Tiger Management devoted significant funds to curb greenhouse gasses • Step 3: Getting your hands dirty = Volunteerism. • Disney “VoluntEARS” spent more than 800,000 hours in volunteer service over a two-year span. • For 20+ years, Microsoft has sponsored United Way’s “Day of Caring,” encouraging employees to serve for a day and matching contributions.
Community Relations Foundations • Determine what the community knows & thinks about your organization • Inform the community of the organization’s point of view – tell your story • Negotiate or mediate between the organization and the community if necessary • Help develop programs, partnerships, events, messages that contribute to the community and make sense for your organization’s mission/passions
Expectations Of the Community: • Appearance • Participation • Stability • Pride Of Organizations: • Fair Taxation • Good Labor Supply • Reasonable degree of Support
Community Relations Objectives • Educate the community about the organization • Gain favorable opinion of the community • Inform local government to perhaps positively influence legislation • Find out what residents think about the organization • Establish personal relationship between management and community leaders • Enhance the community by supporting health programs, contributing to culture, aiding education, etc. • Assist local economy by supporting local business and operating a profitable business to ensure jobs, etc.
Community Relations Online LIVE 8: The Global Community AOL teamed up with the biggest bands and celebrities to present LIVE 8, a simultaneous concert in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome, designed to turn the world’s attention to ending poverty. After 5 days of concerts, G8 leaders promised to contribute $50 billion more in aid per year by 2010 and to cancel the debts of the world’s poorest countries.
Case Study: Considering the Power of Diversity • 80-year-old Noble Prize winner, Dr. Sherlock, was in Paris promoting his latest book, and agreed to an interview with Le Monde. • He is quoted as saying, “People of African descent are less intelligent than people of European descent.” • As a result, Paris Council of Scientists canceled his lecture; lab where he served as president suspended him; he immediately apologized. • Meanwhile, the University of Chicago had already voted to give him a huge award, including a cash prize and a huge event with a Sherlock keynote. Whether they cancel or proceed, both will be big news. • There are already people calling for the award to be revoked and the event cancelled; however, others are saying the spirit of academic freedom should be about hearing from all viewpoints and encouraging critical thinking. Should the university award Dr. Sherlock the prize and allow him to speak? And how would you explain the University’s decision?
Non-Profit Public Relations And they REALLY need PR: • To win public support for their mission • To raise money • To broaden volunteer base • To increase political support for their cause • To educate on the issues Think hospitals, schools, trade associations, labor unions, chambers of commerce, social welfare agencies, cultural organizations, etc.
Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget PR professionals in the non-profit sector have to master many functions, wear many hats, and be prepared to get creative. Most importantly: • Positioning the Organization • Developing a Marketing/Promotional Plan • Media Relations • Supporting Fundraising/Development
Positioning the Organization • Always competing for dollars! • No one can afford to be all things to all people – stand for something! It is better to make a few people mad to achieve a clear, differentiated identity. • What position do we own; that is, who are we? • What position do we want? • Who else is out there, and what is there position? • Do we have the funds to get us where we want to go? • Can we stick over time? • Do all our communications line up with each other?
Developing a Marketing/Promotional Plan • Why? To raise your profile, gain respect, grow support. • You need – clear, coherent messaging that leans heavy on your CAUSE – what does your organization stand for? • Your Communications (PR/Advertising/Marketing) Strategy: • Plan • Define Issues • Build Strategies • Frame Issues • Develop Talking Points • Choose Spokespeople • Develop Communication Materials • Target Messages
Media Relations • Talk Radio – Big audience, love causes • Cable TV – Hungry for outspoken, opinionated, articulate guests • Cable Access – Easy “get” • Local News – Be relevant • Blogs – It’s a niche, niche world • Web – How creative can you be? “If you don’t exist in the media, for all practical purposes you don’t exist.” – Daniel Schorr, NPR
Supporting Fundraising/Development • Non-profit PR/marketing: “Performing, pleading, petitioning, and praying” • Fundraising is really just good PR – compelling storytelling – with an ask. • How? • Identify campaign plans and objectives – Have a goal • Organize fact finding – Trends? Relationships? Current attitudes? • Recruit leaders – The “face” matters. (Ahem, perfect Ben Keesey!) • Plan and implement strong communications – Your message matters. Without publicity and promotion no one will hear your great message. Special events are a necessary evil. COMMUNICATE! • Periodically review and evaluate – Don’t get TOO attached to your plan.
Unsolicited Advice #8 Timing is Everything.