I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER. (Groucho Marx)
Here’s a big difference between Groucho Marx’s quote and your company. For public relations, not to mention good marketing you want to be a member of your local and regional organizations.
Because it’s good PR. It’s easy, simple and most of the time not prohibitively expensive. It also effectively highlights your organization. Join the organizations and then offer to be part of their Speakers Bureau. When it’s your turn to speak at the next business luncheon don’t talk about your company or its products throughout the entire speech, rather take an education-based angle and talk about a topic that all SMBs and mid-size companies face and how to overcome them. Your company will still be highlighted and if you make your speech memorable enough you’ll be surprised at how many people will want to know more about your company and what it does specifically.
Don’t just join business associations. Volunteer to be on non-profit boards that are particularly important to you. Don’t join them just to join, rather choose ones that resonate with you. and that you can offer real value to. If you or a family member has dealt with cancer then you might look at joining your local ACS board or sponsoring or underwriting an associated event.
This goes hand in hand with another good public relations directive of being a good steward of your community. Help out that softball team that doesn’t have a sponsor, sponsor the Music in the Park series, or an elementary school carnival. Take a picture of your CEO with the softball team throwing out the first pitch and submit it to the paper with a press release.
Make sure that all your goodwill efforts are truly based in helping your community, and your company and community will reap the long-term benefits.