Do you volunteer in your community, attend fundraisers, or support local nonprofits? Don’t just post a photo to social media to engage your customers.. I know you can do better than that. Channel your inner journalist by writing a short detailed article. It’s easier than you think.
The inspiration for this topic comes from my experience today at a Habitat For Humanity dedication ceremony. Covering the ceremony for Reading Magazine, I was there to do my usual thing. Few photos, quotes, and maybe a quick Facebook Live video. The ceremony was put together to highlight local Reading resident Jeffery Santos and his new home. The event went on as planned with a few speeches, tour through the house, and various photo opps.
Building, or in this case fully renovating a Habitat house is no easy feat. Jeffery put in over 300 hours of “sweat equity” on his own. That’s on top of his full time job and taking classes at the local community college. He also had help. 35 Penske Truck Leasing employees volunteered over 575 hours to help complete the project.
Read more about Jeffery and his new Habitat for Humanity house: https://rdgmag.com/hfh3t
With all of the new media in attendance, everyone was looking for a photo with Jeffery at the end of the ceremony. While waiting my turn to speak to Jeffery, the PR manager from Penske leans over and says “Hey you know were a media company too”. He said this as a photographer was staging a photo of all the Penske staff in front of a company truck. Of course this was a great PR moment for Penske, why not share it.
It was a very brief chat, we talked for a bit about how company’s these days are using more community based content to engage with social followers. Eventually we both got called in different directions. But, that quick comment brings up a great point. As a business owner in your community, you need to elevate your community outreach. I typically see small business owners just post a photo about a local event they attend. It’s like ‘look at me hear, see us here’. No, you can do better.
I’m not saying you need to go volunteer for every fundraiser in town. Just stick to the events you or your business are already apart of. But, instead of just posting a photo, or sharing a donation page. Take a few more minutes to dive deeper. Whether you are just attending a fundraiser, volunteering, or sponsoring, here are a few ways you can create an engaging blog post that will build a strong bond with your customers.
Building a framework. To put together a short and simple article, use the following layout. First paragraph: what is the event, who does it benefit, when did it happen. Next, in a few sentences highlight the event’s cause and why the community should support it. Finally, interview someone in charge for a quick quote. Nothing long, just to set the tone and gather an outside opinion. Now take a photo of something relevant to the overall topic. If its a 5k, take a photo of the winning runners, carnival fundraiser, snap a pic of the rides.
That’s it! Just post it to your blog, link to social media and your done. By elevating the quality of your content from simple photo to short detailed blog post, you’re are helping your customers stay informed about the community, and inviting them to be active themselves.