One thing that’s great about most home service business owners is that they have a soft spot for giving back. Whether it’s donating money, time, or services, it’s refreshing to see so much interest in helping local or national charities and nonprofits.
The big question many home service business owners struggle with is whether they should draw attention to their charitable giving in the first place — and if they do, how do they let their customers, their vendors, their team, and the community know about their charitable giving without making it seem as if they are tooting their horn for their own benefit?
It’s a tricky business, and navigating how best to incorporate your good deeds into your brand’s ecosystem is something most home service businesses have a little trouble with. You may have seen some HVAC companies go overboard with promoting how giving and altruistic their business is, while others barely mention their charitable acts, relegating it to an occasional social media post.
There is a way to talk about your company’s giving culture without making it offensive or overbearing, but the most important thing to remember is to keep your PR in line with your overall business branding so your good deeds blend seamlessly with your business philosophy.
How can you promote charitable giving the right way?
When people hear the word promote, it conjures up images of giant online banner ads, loud TV ads, obnoxious Instagram posts, or bragging videos. But promoting your charitable giving can be done in a low-key, considerate way, letting your community know you care about the causes you invest in with sincerity.
Here are some ways to talk about your acts of giving back without making it all about you or your business:
- Make the giving story about them, not you. Everyone loves a story, and public relations is a way to get the story the attention it deserves. Depending on how your business feels about it, PR done well can help you target the story to reach the audiences you desire through a variety of thoughtful strategies in the PR toolbox.
- Decide on the right platform. Maybe you’d rather not blast your charitable giving stories on social media, but that is really a great way to reach your network. PR professionals can create a plan of action targeting the channels that will best suit your business and the charity you helped — without compromising your intent or the charity’s desires.
- Work together with the charity. Businesses are sometimes surprised that the charity or foundation they support, in fact, craves as much PR as possible. More often than not, they are all-in for any positive press they can get. So working together on a promotion plan can benefit both parties, creating even more interest than if just one entity promoted the story. To be on the safe side, always run your promotion or posts through the charity’s management first.
- Do take photos and videos with tags and links. Presenting a check to a charity is a great photo op, and if done right, it can boost your company’s image and attract new donors to your chosen charity. Taken in front of your branded trucks or signs or the charity’s main office can create interest without boasting. People love to see happy, smiling people, so posts like these get a lot of attention for both parties.
- Include your team in any charitable event or activity. Sometimes simple is best. Photos or stories that feature team members (don’t forget the PR by wearing a company logo shirt, of course) get shared exponentially, helping the charity leverage the exposure. When your team members are involved in charitable giving through donating their time, expertise, or money, the story is shared through their own networks, and they get a rush of feel-good vibes that makes them proud to be on your team.
Most of all, make sure your good deeds are being done for the right reasons. Consumers are savvy and can sense when something doesn’t seem right in a New York minute. Plus they have the ability to research your business and the charity at their fingertips, making it easy to separate hype from genuine generosity. Being transparent with your charitable giving is easy, and the simplest stories are the ones that resonate with readers most, often garnering more positive PR than any advertising campaign could.