During times of crises – such as 9/11, the recent Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina – the desire to do something weighs heavily on both people and corporations.
And, yes, your company should do good. It should help out in any way that it can, as every little bit helps out.
But, that has to be tempered with the desire to go out and promote the company’s philanthropy. Not every charitable action a company takes needs to be promoted, but it can be kept quiet. And, not every catastophre lends itself to a company’s product, so you need to think what you can do that can help out.Right now, post-Hurricane Katrina, many people are in need. And, everyone from corporate America to the individuals wants to help the people in Lousiana, Mississippi and other Gulf states that were hit by the storm.
But, let’s remember that people have lost their lives and their homes, and pretty much almost everything they have. The fact is that natural disasters should not be used for public relations purposes. Yes, your company wants to highlight that it is being charitable, but is there a need to send out a press release touting the amount of money you are giving, or a blog post? Or a press release about make-up kits that you are sending victims – because, do victims need make-up, or do they need food and clothing?
The desire to promote the good you are doing is great, but at times, it is better to work in the background, and do good for good’s sake. This is one of those times – do good, don’t publicize.
Update: The ASU-LSU college football game has been moved to Tempe, where the ‘Devils play. I called up to find out if there were tickets being given to the 1000 evacuees that are in Phoenix. I spoke to a person at the stadium, and was told that corporate sponsors had already donated tickets for the people from New Orleans to see the game, but that they didn’t want to go out and toot their own horn about it. That’s what I mean – being classy, doing the right thing, but realizing you don’t need to go out and toot your own horn. Kudos to ASU for doing the nice and right thing, and not having to go out and PR it.