|  Public relations

It’s something that all brands are already well aware of, but have you taken the time to re-evaluate in the current climate? Think bigger, think better!

At first glance, you may be thinking ‘well duh, of COURSE it’s important, we already know this’, but as we face new challenges as a nation, it’s important to remind ourselves and challenge what we believe really is supporting the community around us. It’s no longer acceptable to throw a one-off donation and consider it ‘job done’ - we need to craft long-lasting, meaningful relationships with those who need our support.

We have a responsibility as big brands/names to give back - and not just to post about it on social media or tick a corporate box. At RKH, I've been lucky enough to work with colleagues and clients who think and believe the same way and it’s led me to be involved in some heart-warming community engagement.

Two people with trolleys full of donations of food and essential items in front of a blue sign that says 'The Village School' in black text.

As a PR Account Manager, I am constantly looking for ways to help my clients to deliver effective community engagement as it really is possible to make a difference (allow me to be cheesy for just a second!). Whether it’s donating time or money to a local food bank, supporting a local sports team or pouring some time into getting to the heart of a community, any activity worth doing is one that benefits someone other than your brand.

My biggest suggestion to you, dear reader, is to ask the community what they need. Seems simple, but has it actually been done? It's very easy to pop on Google and donate to the first charity you see, but the ease of that removes any sort of relationship or understanding of how you can help (both now and in the future!). What about those smaller charity events that might not have the funds to invest in a comms plan? The local support group in need of repairs at their facility? A member of the community who is raising funds for an important event? These are all worthy causes that may fall under the radar.

Two people holding a large cheque from Taylor Wimpey noting a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with a group of lifeguards in shot, next to water in front of clear blue sky.

“So, how can we optimise this opportunity?” I hear you cry. Well, there are a number of ways to do it.

  1. When researching, look for local groups and events on social media

As we all know, Google favours the larger brands/companies/charities when researching - which may overshadow the smaller groups within the community. If you’re looking to reach out fairly locally, you may find more success by taking guidance from local groups or events. Once you know what's going on in the local area, it's time to start outreaching

2. Be inclusive in your approach

We SHOULD always be inclusive of everyone with everything we do - but again, we have a responsibility to stay on top of our outreaching habits. There are social issues happening all around us, and even if we don't experience it ourselves, it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Think bigger.

3. Ask the community

From dedicated emails and email addresses, press releases, leaflets etc., there are ways to directly address the community you wish to help. This is a great way to create a bank of options handy, so you can create a long term outreach plan too. Plus, you’ll build trust and insight in a way you can't quite do from your desk. Who knows the community better than those living in it?

A group of female rugby players in burgundy team jackets holding out white rugby balls with the Taylor Wimpey logo on them.

There you have it. A few simple tips and a massive reminder to champion the people who make your brand a success. Now, go get ‘em!


Rock Kitchen Harris

The Hummingbird