Take a moment and reflect: Is your company flourishing? You may be getting new bids on construction projects on a regular basis; your employees are happy; and business is thriving. You think, “What’s next?”
What IS next? What could help with your expansion and overall growth while continuing to foster your reputation as a dependable company committed to serving your community? Perhaps the answer is a non-profit construction project. A number of ABC members are featured as Accredited Quality Contractors. In part, this recognition is because of their commitment to the betterment of the communities in which they serve. The work may be big, as in a new building for an education program being offered, or it may be small, as in donating time and materials for a ballpark lighting project.
Taking on a non-profit project can be a difficult decision, but the benefits that come with doing so are truly endless (and last for years after it’s complete). Positioning your company as a do-gooder in the community can help in establishing it as a multi-faceted, successful business.
Additionally, working on a non-profit can help your business grow in community recognition. Non-profit projects have a lot of potential to get media coverage, especially if you work with the organization to bring attention to your project. Here are five ways to help gain attention from media:
- First, focus on delivering your primary message via a simple news release, which will eventually be distributed amongst the press. Tell the story. Is there an interesting angle, such as the cause close to your heart, for why you joined forces with this non-profit? Express how the build will help your community.
- Next, think of non-traditional ways to quickly get out your news. Maybe it’s an op-ed piece in your local paper calling readers to support the non-profit you’re helping, or perhaps it’s a spotlight in your company’s e-newsletter or website about the non-profit. Either way, the more you associate your company with your new partner, the more likely people will become aware about what you’re setting out to do in the first place.
- Pitch your story to media. Determine your angle and spotlight it in your pitch. (Remember: good news is fun to report!) Do research on reporters beforehand: Many have causes that are dear to their hearts, which may match with your project and could eventually lead the way in a media partnership, equaling more coverage for you.
- Offer media (especially TV) a behind-the-scenes tour of your new project. Again, it’s another way for people to see your commitment to the community, but in an informal way.
- And don’t forget about social media! If you haven’t already, set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business. (Instagram, Pinterest and Google + are also worthy social media channels to implement.) You can spread the word about this new construction that way, and eventually develop a bona-fide social media strategy that supports and continues to create buzz around development and completion (such as hashtag use, videos and photos.)
Community Relations and Outreach Activities is one of the standards ABC looks for in naming Accredited Quality Contractors (AQC). Find additional information about how to gain this recognition here.
By Jenna Todoroff