Community engagement is an important component in building your brand’s reputation and maintaining a positive relationship with the people who mean the most: your employees and clients. Keep reading to learn about four strategies for connecting with the community.

1. Give strategically to philanthropic causes that align with your brand’s mission.

All giving is good, but focusing on a few, key causes will maximize the positive impact your brand can have on the community. On top of that, donating to organizations whose purpose aligns with your brand’s mission makes it easier for people to associate your brand with the nonprofit or cause you are supporting. A strong commitment reinforces the link between your product or service and positive feelings like those associated with the philanthropy, which in turn strengthens the community’s positive feelings toward your brand.

2. Pursue sponsorship opportunities important to your target markets.

Sponsorships can be a great way to actively reach and connect with your target markets. Getting involved with events and organizations important to your key audiences is an opportunity to engage in an authentic way. By showing support of their passions, you not only show that you share a common interest, but it’s also a great way to deepen their loyalty to your brand.

3. Engage employees in company-wide community outreach.

Proactively involving your employees in volunteerism in the community has many benefits. Working together on a philanthropic project boosts morale and increases productivity as employees learn how to strive toward a common goal. When surveyed by LGB Associates, a corporate social responsibility consulting firm, 71 percent of employees said they felt more positive about their company as a result of volunteer programs. These results demonstrate the strong connection between volunteerism through corporate social responsibility and employee retention and engagement. More loyal and engaged employees leads to a more efficient workforce and an increased bottom line, as well as positive word of mouth surrounding your brand from employees themselves.

4. Encourage your brand’s leaders to serve on boards of directors.

Leading by example is crucial to building credibility and earning the respect of colleagues and peers. Having brand leaders serve on boards of local nonprofits is another opportunity to get plugged into the communities you serve. It’s great exposure and allows your brand to take an active role in improving and making progress in your community.

Incorporating these strategies into your overall marketing and branding plan will lead to an improved brand image, a more efficient workforce, a deeper connection with your target markets and more involved brand leaders. Be sure to identify and pursue future community engagement opportunities to strengthen your brand.

Cooksey Staff