Holiday Community Outreach Programs Mean Good Business

Management, Marketing October 11, 2012

If you haven’t thought your holiday campaigns through yet, you might already be too late. With only a few weeks until the holidays kick in, you’ll have barely enough time to prepare.

But the holidays bring questions totally unrelated to making a profit. Holidays are always about shared experiences – and community. What role do you feel should your business have? How involved do you want you to be apart from being a job provider?

The answers will be different depending on the nature of your business. And this is all on top of the fact that once your business grows bigger, it becomes a community itself too!

While arguments can be made for businesses not being active in communities they are a part of, it’s exactly this kind of participation that adds a human element to your business. The holidays are not just an excuse to slap on a superficial veneer of holiday fun to get more receipts.

Why Holiday Outreach Activities Make Sense

Halloween’s coming up and doubtless, almost everyone will do their own thing to recognize it, officially, or unofficially. This is a great time to help everyone in the company understand each other – for better or worse. And it ‘s hard to beat holidays as an excuse for bonding in any case.

Guess who's not sleeping tonight?

Some traditions are better than others.

But while that takes care of  your own, it doesn’t really address the concerns of everyone at large. An outreach activity will not only do that, but do a couple of other things:

  •  Raise your brand profile
  • Appeal to more socially-concerned consumers
  •  Make your business more interesting to potential hires – especially younger people, and others in your industry who prefer working in a more socially-involved environment
  •  Break monotony
  • Boost Employee Morale
  • It’s something you should probably do as a decent human being.

 
All these points are infinitely arguable, and if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably made your mind up about the role your business should take.  But in our experience, occasional activities that address community concerns do pay off, often in unexpected ways.

The key is to make sure the activity is something that benefits BOTH your business and the market its going for. If it’s all about the you, then you’ll look like every other jerk who perverts the idea of being in a community. If it’s all about the people you’re reaching out to, then you won’t get most of the tasty benefits we outlined earlier.

Not everyone will believe you’re for real. Get over it.

Fact: Pinocchio has stuff in it that would never make it in a Disney movie today. See: Stromboli

Even the most sincere company outreach activity will be viewed skeptically, and this will get more pronounced the bigger a business gets.  And even people who aren’t skeptical about it might not even have the time to care. That’s fine too. These things aren’t supposed to be all about the people you’re reaching out to, or all about your business.

It should be all about the community. It should be all about us.

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