A lot of companies go wild when it comes to their charity activities. They promote themselves and their generosity by sponsoring specific events and actually sending one or two representatives on site too. So far so good. However, unexpected situations arise when least expected. A company that keeps advertising about its amazing civic spirit will indirectly have people ask themselves if it does it for promotion only. This is a relatively simple conception of life. On the same principle, rich people often become exaggeratedly generous when they find out that they suffer from a fatal disease or they become old. It looks like they are trying to buy a place in heaven. Companies are easily associated with such people. So what options do you have? There is one simple alternative – be relatively discreet when it comes to your charity activities. But then, how does your company benefit from this discreetness?
The Body Shop is world renowned for its unusual approach in the cosmetic industry. Its founder – Anita Roddick – has claimed that she does not believe in marketing. In reality, she was extremely well versed in it. In fact, she was so good in public relations that she has seriously sky rocketed the popularity of The Body Shop in multiple ways.
One of the most important aspects of The Body Shop is the fact that every store is encouraged to engage into charity activities within the local community. The personnel is free to decide on the projects, as well as the methods to contribute. Just like you have probably guessed already, the company supports all these projects.
In other words, local stores can help in building a playground for children, supporting a local hospital or even gathering money for an artificial kidney at a local hospital. Employees use their free time to gather money, participate to public events or discuss with the local council representatives. The Body Shop gives them free days for such activities. However, many employees activate during their free time as well.
In my opinion, the result of such an approach is extremely beneficial for the company. Employees feel like an integrated part of the local community. They also feel like working for an ethical employer and being part of a dedicated team. The news spreads overnight in local communities. Therefore, instead of using press releases or various marketing techniques, The Body Shop relies on the word of mouth. This is by far the most powerful method to draw some attention.
How to engage into charity activities while officially keeping a low profile
What are the best methods to help charity events, gain some popularity and avoid the negative attention?
- Get your personnel involved. In fact, you should give your employees a lot of power and make them feel responsible for each project.
- Support your employees’ efforts. If you cannot give them free days, let them use the technical or material base of the company. Perhaps you should also offer small financial awards.
- Do not feel tempted to advertise for your employees. Advertising can negatively affect the word of mouth propagation. Moreover, such techniques can attenuate the impact of your actions.
- Accept the fact that the results might not show up overnight. In fact, you will probably encounter a series of problems. Sometimes, employees make small mistakes or choose inappropriate projects. Do not hesitate to let them learn from their mistakes.