The way we interact online is constantly evolving. For brands, we’re finding new ways to connect with consumers – and it is becoming even easier for those consumers to tell the world about their experiences with brands. This week, we take a look at some new opportunities – and risks – to consider when we’re building connections out in the digital space.
Website Magazine:User Reviews Are King Online reviews can either make or break your business. Twenty-two percent of users will not buy after reading just ONE negative review, and consumers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a business with excellent reviews. This handy infographic explores how valuable – or potentially damaging – an online review, and your response, can be for your business. Read more after the jump…
Through a $5,000 grant from the Get Grounded Foundation, Tennyson Center for Children (TCC) has enhanced their community-based services by adding a Animal Assisted Therapy program for traumatized children. TCC provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, to Colorado children ages five to 18. The children are survivors of severe abuse or neglect, or have significant mental health or developmental issues. TCC empowers children who have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma to bravely and safely change their life’s story.
My September began pretty typically, with a host of meetings with companies preparing their 2017 budgets. This year, one of them stood out.
I had just reconnected with an old friend from high school, and he and I sat down to talk about the important work he was doing with a Colorado-based nonprofit. He was anxious to find out if our team at GroundFloor Media and CenterTable might be able to amplify his team’s efforts.
The meeting went well, and we were in the process of scheduling a follow-up to get leaders from both our teams in the same room. Then the emails and phone calls stopped. Earlier this week, I found out that my friend had tragically lost his life.
I didn’t know this young man nearly as well as others. And as my social newsfeeds overflowed with messages mourning his passing, I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to eulogize him as beautifully or as fittingly. I wondered if I should say anything at all.
GroundFloor Media’s Get Grounded program provides team members an opportunity to actively participate in causes they believe in by offering paid time off or cash grants in exchange for hours volunteered. In this short video, GFM team members Kristina Reilly and Jennifer Wills talk about their community involvement the benefit to the organizations they serve as well as to themselves in the connections they’ve made and the relationships they’ve formed.
Wondering how you can build a program like Get Grounded for your company, or how you can integrate community support into your business? Click here for more information about GFM Cares, our cause marketing practice.
Over the past few weeks the buzz surrounding the opening of Davis Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman” has been great. Whether it be the New York Times’ movie review or “NBC News” dedicating a week of coverage to education reform with its Education Nation series, the focus has not only been on the politics of education reform and the role of government in fixing the issue, but more importantly the need for everyday people and the business community to respond to challenges facing our communities. It serves as a reminder that you could be the Superman or Superwoman that your community needs.
This past weekend I participated in Slow Food USA’s Dig Day of national service. The Slow Food Denver chapter recruited volunteers to build garden sinks and garden signs that would then be distributed to some of the schools participating in Denver Public School’s school gardens program. The beauty of this day was the diversity of the volunteers. The group consisted of a few families from the local school, members of the Slow Food Denver chapter and about 25 members of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s 2010 Impact Denver and Leadership Denver classes. Both classes selected two schools to support that are currently participating in the school garden program. Although some of us have school-aged children that may or may not attend schools within the district, more than not, we chose the projects because of the importance of supporting public schools and the recognition of a school’s impact on its surrounding community.
Our day was such a success not only because of the hardworking volunteers, but also because of companies like CH2M HILL that donated materials and Whole Foods and Noodles & Company that provided lunch and dessert to make it all happen. The end result of this day didn’t come from a vote or debate, but instead from the strong desire of everyday people to make a difference in their community.
On Sunday, I took a few minutes to watch “Meet the Press.” I will admit that I am caught up in the buzz and can’t wait for “Waiting for Superman” to open in Denver. David Gregory was reporting from New York as part of the NBC coverage dedicated to education reform. As expected, Gregory asked his questions of administration leaders, school reformers and union heads, but Gregory said it best as he closed out the show, “… if you drive by a public school, even if your kids don’t go there, walk in and ask how you can help, whether you can tutor or provide resources to a teacher.”
Whether it be public schools or other issues impacting your community – Are you ready to take Gregory’s advice and walk through the doors to be that Superman or Superwoman?
Corporate giving, corporate social responsibility, community relations – we hear about these important issues all the time. It’s supposedly essential for companies to give back to their communities – to help solve the ills that plague society. But is it really the role of business to address issues like hunger, natural disasters and poverty – or to support causes such as higher education or the arts? Shouldn’t business just be about customers, revenues and the bottom line? Considering that I personally spent six years in an organization dedicated largely to encouraging corporate philanthropy, I have to say that forward-thinking businesses should do more than care about their bottom line. And I’m happy to report that Denver – and our nation – is chock full of business leaders and employees who truly care about their community.
According to the 2009 State of Corporate Citizenship in the United States survey from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and The Hitachi Foundation, “In a strong signal that corporate social responsibility has earned a place alongside the bottom line, a survey of nearly 800 companies found most senior executives believe business should take a greater role solving problems in health care, product safety, education and climate change.” The survey results go on to show that “corporate citizenship is weathering the recession and is increasingly being integrated into business strategy and operations.”
I am proud to report that even though we are a small business, we believe in walking the proverbial walk. In addition to helping clients identify nonprofit partners and develop strategic corporate giving plans, GroundFloor Media donates up to 15% each year to nonprofits. Several years ago, GroundFloor Media chose Tennyson Center for Children, one of the Rocky Mountain region’s leading treatment and education centers for abused, neglected and at-risk youth, as its nonprofit partner and began providing pro bono PR services to the organization. Through its Get Grounded program, GroundFloor Media also allows its employees to get paid time off for volunteering and provides matching grants to organizations about which employees feel passionate.
And, GroundFloor Media is not alone. For instance, in 2008 Qdoba Mexican Grill adopted Starlight Children’s Foundation as its national charity partner, to which it donates funds, employee volunteer hours and food. Denver-based St. Mary Land & Exploration Company has sponsored the building of a Habitat for Humanity house each year for the past several years, sending employee volunteers to help with the construction, and in 2009, Pinnacol Assurance awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to students through its foundation. And this is just a small sample of the many businesses doing great things in their communities and around the world.
But with all of the potential causes and issues out there, how does a company know which one (or ones) to support? A couple of tips to keep in mind:
In order to ensure buy-in – and even enthusiasm – for the program among employees, it’s a good idea to survey them to identify causes that matter them. If a majority of your employees believe strongly in the need to help bolster public education, then that might be the way to go.
It can also help give a company direction to consider what causes are most closely related to their product or mission. What can your company offer that others can’t? Take Tide’s Loads of Hope campaign for instance – by providing mobile laundry services to victims of natural disasters, they are building incredible good will through a very unique offering.
And don’t forget to give employees ways to support their own personal causes, in addition to an overall cause for the corporation. This is a wonderful way to build employee morale and help ensure employee retention.
And, finally – because we would be remiss as a corporate citizen if we didn’t include a plug for our nonprofit partner in a blog post about corporate giving… For more information on how you can help Tennyson Center, be sure to tune in to 9NEWS in Denver on Thursday morning, March 4. Tennyson Center’s president and CEO will be on the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts, and members of the Tennyson Center team will be taking calls about how individuals and groups can get involved.