Community Relations : Chapter 12 Community Relations An Obligation to Support the Community : An Obligation to Support the Community Beginning in the 1960s, companies began giving back to their communities.
They provided help in issue areas such as poverty, education and cultural enrichment.
Today – most organizations realize they have an obligation to support their communities. Multicultural Communities : Multicultural Communities America’s “face” is changing
Communities are diverse and multicultural
2008 – more than 1/3 of U.S. population claimed minority status
Minority buying power = $600 billion per year
Ethnic print & broadcast media are growing
Internet has spawned virtual communities uniting ethnic groups Social responsibility means respecting diversity : Social responsibility means respecting diversity Companies are more diverse and communicate with communities whose members differ in:
Work background and education Age
Gender Sexual Orientation
Ethnic origin Physical Abilities Social Responsibilities : Social Responsibilities May include issues like:
Clean air, clean water
Providing jobs for minorities
Creating a diverse workforce that reflects the community
Enforcing policies for employees
Ethics guidelines that treat all employees with respect
Enhancing employees’ overall quality of life
Providing health-conscious environment; educational support Money, too! : Money, too! Most companies donate a % of their profits to charities and nonprofits like schools, hospitals, community-based groups and social welfare institutions.
In 2004, among 189 companies surveyed:
$12 billion in corporate contributions
22% rise in U.S. giving from 2003 to 2004 And Volunteers … : And Volunteers … Companies actively encourage their employees to volunteer in their communities.
Think of some of the ways employees help around our community:
Hospital and nursing home volunteers
Animal rescue and humane society volunteers
Coaching kids athletic teams
Cancer, AIDS, heart disease, etc.: walks, marathons , FR
The Pro Football Hall of Fame festival
The Wilderness Center
The United Way and Red Cross
And many more! PR’s Role : PR’s Role The role for PR people within an organization being helped as well as PR within the company providing the volunteers:
Identify causes and opportunities within your community
Coordinate volunteers and events with that “cause”
Plan and promote
Recognize your volunteers!
Plan a thank you dinner, banquet, reception, etc.
Recognize those who have given the most hours with gifts or placards
Celebrate their generosity with their time in newsletters, on your website, on the bulletin board, and in the local paper! Make a Difference! : Make a Difference! PR practitioners can:
Provide the leadership for being true citizens of their communities
Identify opportunities for their companies and employees to be agents for social change! PR: What’s my role for my organization? : PR: What’s my role for my organization? Determine what the community knows and thinks about your organization/company
Inform the community of the organization’s point of view
Mediate between the organization and the community as needed And what the community expects from your organization/company … : And what the community expects from your organization/company … Tangibles such as employment, fair wages and taxes
Intangibles such as:
Appearance Cultural diversity : Cultural diversity Has spawned a wave of political correctness
Who are we? -- No other country has as diverse a population as the U.S.
38 million Americans are foreign-born
Gay and lesbian
People with disabilities
ALL ARE OUR PUBLICS! Nonprofit PR : Nonprofit PR Champions of diversity
Serve social, educational, religious & cultural needs
NONPROFITS RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS THRU MEDIA ADVOCACY (may include protests, marches & stealth Internet campaigns!) Nonprofits : Nonprofits Hospitals
Chambers of commerce
Social welfare agencies
Foundations Nonprofit PR professionals must master many functions:
Positioning the organization/company
Developing a promotional plan
Supporting fundraising efforts Steps for Successful Fundraising : Steps for Successful Fundraising I.D. campaign plans and objectives
Organize fact finding
Recruit leaders – you can’t do this alone!
Plan & implement strong communications activities
Periodically review and evaluate PR: Be Respectful & Responsive : PR: Be Respectful & Responsive As a PR professional, remember:
Respect all of your publics!
Intelligent organizations/companies must be responsive to the needs and desires of diverse communities!
And keep in mind…..
Community relations is only as effective as the support it receives from top management –
So-o-o … the PR professional must provide leadership and insight to both management and community leaders!