As a business owner, you’re undoubtedly aware of the importance of your company engaging in charitable work and giving back. Demonstrating social responsibility in the form of charitable donations, both in terms of time and money, creates a more positive public perception among your customers and potential employees, while also creating a more engaged workforce.
In fact, studies show that not only do consumers consider a company’s charitable donations when making spending decisions, prospective employees are also more willing to work with a company that is committed to supporting good works.
However, despite all of the positive that can come from your company’s involvement with charity, there can also be some negatives. While it’s important to promote your company’s efforts, too much promotion, or promotion that feels fake or somehow disingenuous can actually do more harm than good to your company’s reputation. Most consumers are remarkably adept at identifying when they are being manipulated, so it’s important to communicate your efforts in such a way that they both understand and support your efforts.
Therefore, when developing your PR strategy, consider these important tips.
Which is more meaningful: A photo of an executive in a suit handing over a check to a charity at some black tie event, or photos of employees actually engaged in activities to support an organization? All too often, a business’s charitable activities are reduced to photo opportunities or a blurb in the local paper or company newsletter. Because these are so common, they are often reduced to white noise, and don’t really mean anything to anyone.
Instead, use your charitable activities to tell a story. Share photos of events, and share stories about why your company has chosen to support specific organizations or causes and what they mean to you and your staff. For example, if your staff organizes a drive for donations to a charitable organization, share a photo of your team with the items they collected. When you create these connections for people, and share the commitment behind the check, it feels more authentic and less “We’re doing this because it’s expected.”
Often, people are less interested in hearing about your contributions to a charity than they are in knowing how your work is making a difference. Anyone can write a check — how is your check, or your employee volunteer program, or your company challenge actually helping organizations reach their missions? Work with your chosen charities to develop specific projects, and share the results of those projects with your audience. When you can show how your support is making a difference, your motivations become clearer — as do the benefits of working with your company.
Employees can be your greatest resource when it comes to charitable activities, both in terms of the time and money you can provide to charities, but also in spreading the word and promoting your work. They can only do that, though, if they understand who they are supporting and why. Think about how many times you are asked to donate at the register when you are shopping — how many of those employees can actually talk about the organizations their company supports? How many can tell you what the money is for?
If your company is going to give to charity, it’s vital that you educate your staff about what you have chosen to support and why. They should not only be able to name the organizations you support, but be able to explain what the organizations actually do and why the company supports them. Otherwise, our charitable activities aren’t likely to be seen as a company effort, but rather something that only leadership is involved with.
Sometimes, the best promotion that you can give your charitable efforts is no promotion at all. If your business is consistently involved with volunteer work, and consistently gives money, others will notice. Often, companies will schedule a single volunteer work day, or donate the proceeds with a fundraiser, and make a big splash, but then disappear until the next time they need a PR boost. Such efforts often feel disingenuous, and more focused on the giver’s needs than the recipient. To get the most from your charitable efforts, be consistent, and make an effort to support causes on an ongoing basis — chances are, someone else will notice and promote your work for you.
Promoting your company’s charitable work via social media, company blogs and newsletters, and media outreach is a good way to build a reputation for social responsibility, but only if you establish a foundation of authentic commitment. Consider the underlying message of your promotional efforts, and build real value for your company.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”