A Simple Guide to Community Relations PR
Community relations is the goodwill of a business. It’s one of the most important initiatives a business can strive for in their overall marketing strategy. Below we discuss how important it is to not only be involved in your community, but to also spotlight these efforts to establish a positive persona. From working with neighboring businesses to sponsor a charity event to volunteer your time and services to a local cause, these and more are forms of community relations. How does the community view you? That is the question and based on your answer is how you need to structure a plan. In addition, what is important to you personally and your overall message? Are you a business who is an advocate for green living? Then perhaps charities focused on environmental causes are a good fit for you. Whatever your focus, stand for something and support your community, neighbors and beyond.
What is Public Relations?
Public Relations (PR)…storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Fun, right? As veteran publicists, we connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, our media friends, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles. We love what we do because it’s about promoting other entrepreneurs like ourselves. How can PR help businesses? By helping businesses organically grow. We also love it because the power of PR is real!
Part of its superpower is the fact that its earned communication, meaning “not paid” like advertising or sponsored content. It’s the most unbiased, honest depiction a brand can receive, making it the most credible type of coverage! Everybody wants it, but no one has control over it because it is through the eyes of the media. As publicists, we provide as much information as possible, connect the media with our clients and craft the message. But after we’ve delivered and the media personally experiences the service or tries the product, it’s their words. And that’s when the excitement & roller coaster ride begins!
What is Community Relations PR?
What is your brand or business doing to support your community? That is community relations! Community Relations PR still incorporates media initiatives, but focuses more on strategic partnerships with neighboring businesses, philanthropic efforts, volunteerism and more. The phrase “community relations” simply describes a company’s interactions with the community in which it resides.
Out of all of the different forms of marketing and communications, Community Relations is one of the most important things a business can do. It’s about brainstorming, planning, organizing and managing activities that help your business build local community relationships. Businesses need to accept local responsibility and take an active interest in the well-being of it’s own community. The long term benefits of taking a role in the community include community support, loyalty and the overall feeling of goodwill. Community Relations PR is about establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships within the community, using your voice to raise awareness and help your neighbors!
How Can Community Relations PR Help Businesses?
What a business does locally to support its community is huge. These efforts of being a good samaritan and helping neighbors, other businesses and families in need are what spotlights your business. Why? Because it humanizes your brand. People want to do business with people. By giving your business a friendly face and a giving spirit, your local community will embrace you. By doing so, you’re making your brand approachable, charitable and one that cares and supports its own community.
Donating to local non-profit organizations, sponsoring events, volunteering services during times of crisis, giving back to the community and more. These are all different forms of community involvement. You can also let the media know about these community initiatives, which casts a positive spotlight on all of your good deeds. Media love to hear about community stories with a philanthropic or “giving back” angle, so these types of pitches are always newsworthy.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a PR Agency For Community Relations?
Whether you are looking for community relations, retail, hospitality or corporate PR, it It all depends on scope of work. Every client is different, yet most smaller agencies fall between $2000 and $10,000 per month. Larger firms tend to start at $10,000-$20,000 monthly retainers.
Clients are paid for the amount of hours it takes to connect and work with non-profit organizations, set up sponsorships with annual fundraising efforts, coordinate volunteer opportunities with other local businesses and more. After these efforts are coordinated, PR agencies have to still communicate the messages to the media.
The overall initiative of community relations is a marathon, not a race. The effort of establishing a reputation and overall image of a brand or business takes time. That being said, we recommend giving the time it needs to implement these plans and cultivate relationships with others in the community to make an impact.
Introduction to Bettie Bomb
Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Public Relations Agency based in Chicago. We offer a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.
We are a boutique Chicago PR agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell.