Businesses can have a profound impact on their local community, and at Hubbard Chicago, we believe it’s part of good corporate citizenship to give back. Each of our radio stations is committed to community service, and we strongly recommend that your business get involved, too.
Why Give Back?
Doing great things for your community can also accomplish great things for your brand. Here are just a few outcomes you can expect when you carve out space in your mission statement for doing good:
1. Endear Your Brand to the Community and Your Audience
When your community service directly addresses a community need, you can generate a lot of good will. This is obviously strongest within the community itself, but any prospect looking into your company when considering their purchase decision will also be touched by your good deeds. They can see how your broader values align with their own, and if shared effectively, it can appeal to them at a core, emotional level.
2. Build Up Your Employees
The community and your customers aren’t the only ones that will be impacted by your choice to give back. Community service opens up new avenues for your employees to grow personally and professionally while participating in something they can be proud of beyond their job. This has a real impact on their performance, dedication, and productivity.
According to research from Fortune and Great Place to Work, employees who have positive charitable experiences are more likely to become brand ambassadors, as well as more likely to say they want to stay with the company long term. In fact, they’re four times more likely to state that “their teams were willing to give extra to get the job done.”
3. Bolster Brand Awareness
Community service can make for great publicity and contribute to your efforts to build a familiar brand presence. This type of positive familiarity cannot be bought, no matter what marketing campaigns you put together.
4. Leverage Networking and Partnership Opportunities
Businesses pitching in for community service is not a new idea, so as you become more involved with it, you’re likely to start meeting other businesses who are similarly invested in the community. At the very least, this supports networking, and it can make hosting or sponsoring events easier. It can also introduce you to complementary businesses with which you can form a deeper partnership.
Leading by Example: How We Give Back
As we mentioned, we believe strongly in community service, and we’ve put our money where our mouth is. Here are just a few notable examples from this year:
- 97.1 The Drive’s Sherman & Tingle Show partnered with the 1 Pet - 1 Vet charitable organization in a successful “Give a Vet a Pet” campaign. The campaign crushed the goal of $15,000 — enough to provide a service dog to a Chicago veteran suffering from PTSD — and raised a total of $60,000.
- 100.3 SHE (WSHE) put their heart into last Valentine's Day, collecting handmade Valentine’s Day cards for children at the hospital at La Rabida. Thanks to WSHE’s efforts, businesses, civic/religious groups, and scouting troupes made enough cards to ensure every child felt love on February 14.
- 101.9 The Mix (WTMX) was named one of 10 winners to receive the Crystal Radio Award by the National Association of Broadcasting. The winners are chosen from 50 finalists nationwide, and the award recognizes them for year-round excellent community service.
Actionable Tips to Show Your Brand Cares
- Be sure to find a cause that aligns with your community. The purpose isn’t just to dabble in cause marketing — you can make a direct difference in the community where you live and work.
- Serve on a non-profit board to help get your company closer to the action. This is a great step, since it can help you steer resources towards and lend your expertise to that non-profit.
- Give your employees a voice and keep them involved in decisions regarding where company money and volunteer hours are going. If one of the reasons you’re committing to community service is employee engagement, then commit to that engagement.
- If it makes sense for your business and what you provide, give in-kind donations, rather than donating money.
- Get into the trenches and host or sponsor a charitable event. From a business perspective, this does double duty — event marketing and cause marketing, all wrapped into one. This allows your brand to shine while actively supporting the community.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Wait Until the End of the Year!
Holidays, especially winter holidays when the spirit of giving is at its height, make poignant touchstones for connecting with the community. However, community needs typically aren’t seasonal and can’t be relieved through holiday giving alone. Your support can go a long way throughout the year.
We commit to doing community service year-round, and we reap the rewards at each of our stations — through loyal listeners, engaged employees, and fruitful partnerships. Get involved, roll up your sleeves, and start putting our tips to use today.