Creating an Effective Community Relations Program. Presented by Maureen Rich The Edison Group. Companies are starting to get it – conscience isn’t just trendy, it’s necessary “Sustainable development plans” are becoming commonplace No one wants to be Martha, Enron, etc.
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“Sustainable development plans” are becoming commonplace
No one wants to be Martha, Enron, etc.
The Bonus: Doing good = Good for businessSpotlight on Community Relations
140 U.S. companies
70 percent had no broad-based sustainability program in place yet.
69% were reviewing or revising ethics programs or their corporate-governance processA Gradual Shift
80 percent of surveyed CEOs agree non-financial indicators such as environmental and social performance metrics are essential to characterizing future financial performance
– Business Week
70 percent of investors consider reputation in their decisions
– Citizen watch
91 percent of surveyed CEOs believe CSR management creates shareholder value
– Managing CSR ReportIn Their Own Words
Raise CEO profile
Get more press coverage in X community
Establish company as a resource
Target a specific audience
Elderly/baby boomers with aging parentsDetermine Goals
Decide how to respond to requests
Relevance: What are our criteria for getting involved?
Budget: What are our constraints?
Always ask: Will fulfilling this request help us fulfill our goal/mission?
Determine level of involvement up front – but get involved!
Be more than a name in a press release – be visible
Provide resources or planning support if possible
Consider pros, cons to partnerships
Weigh short- and long-term benefitsEstablish Protocol & Criteria
Show enthusiasm, participation from the top down
Get departments involved
Provide incentives (e.g., comp day for day spent volunteering)
Create team-oriented events
Sponsorships that foster teamwork
Prepare employees for events
Identify spokespersons (bilingual)
Ensure consistent messagingGet Everyone Involved
Don’t do CR for the PR…
But leverage CR in ways that maximize PR potential
Don’t lose your mission!
But don’t forget: not everyone (i.e., media) cares
Offer compelling stories beyond “Company writes check”
Put spotlight on subject, not donation
Offer solutions to timely problems
Have local stories readyIncorporate PR Elements
Situation Five Years Ago:
21st Century Insurance was a leading California auto insurer
Heavily involved philanthropically but without strategic direction
Virtually no press coverage for any goodwill projects
Continue philanthropy but with a more targeted approach
Raise 21st’s profile… and get press coverage for their goodwill efforts!Case Study: 21st Century Insurance
Educate parents on state law, proper use
Unprecedented law enforcement partnership
California Highway Patrol
Spokesperson Erik Estrada
Appeals to parent age group
Appeals to Latino community
State-specific, free educational materials
“Child Safety Seats: A Parent’s Guide”
Now in six states, in English and SpanishPR Campaign Elements
CHP officers set up multiple inspection tents
Families arrive with children in vehicles
Trained officers inspect existing seat for proper fit, installation and use
21st employees staff event to assist
If seat isn’t right, 21st donates brand-new seatLogistics
Morning of event media
Law enforcement officer, Erik Estrada provide live demo on-air
On-Site Media Relations
Setting the scene
Providing arc of story, from police to family to corporation
Why are we involved?
Every officer, family, 21st spokesperson has a storyMedia Outreach
More than 60 events conducted
More than 7,200 seats inspected
More than 2,700 seats discarded
More than 5,800 seats donated by 21st
We’ve helped raise company’s profile within:
WebResults by the Numbers
Child Seat Campaign Media Hits ’02 - ’05