Inside This Issue
What does it mean to be a force for positive change, to you personally and through your business? In this month's issue of the Digest, you will find examples of people who are working together to create a better world for all of us through the organizations they work for. These client companies have made it their mission to do more than prosper. They prosper with a purpose. Their prosperity may come from making a product in an exemplary way but their purpose is to use that as fuel to end suffering for someone, somewhere.
When companies lead in this way, consumers respond. At a conference I spoke at recently, I shared the not so surprising statistic that if all things are relatively equal between brand A and brand B and brand B does more social good, 94% of shoppers will choose brand B. Consumers want companies to take a meaningful stand and contribute to those less fortunate.
The idea that capitalism is the only way to true prosperity is misguided. I suspect that the entrepreneurial wave is creating a culture where giving is more mission critical. Entrepreneurs are an interesting bunch to study. I don't know what the numbers say but most I know and work alongside grew up with little or nothing, some standing in the Government cheese line, and wondering where the next meal would come from. This changes the dynamic across the board as we become leaders with influence and the ability to act. In my own world, it's The River Food Pantry that has my heart. I can't stand the thought of 1,400 children not having anything to eat on the North side in the summer. What can I do? I can make a sandwich. I can promote it. I can write a check.
I've noticed in my own life that whether rich or poor, in plenty or in need, what matters most isn't what I have but what I give away. Whether it's a smile, a meal, my undivided attention, an encouraging word or a check, true riches are found in those moments.
The interview below highlights some of the many benefits of giving back. If you're not sure where to begin, start with something simple and act. Then multiply it.
Laura Gallagher is a regular guest on Girl Talk which can be seen weekly on the independent TV station, Channel 57. Tune in to see more stories about small to medium sized businesses or subscribe on their You Tube channel.
Reputation management begins long before the crisis happens. Are you ready?
Reputation management is an ongoing effort. It happens in real time every single day you're in business.
Public relations is often thought of as something that can be "managed" by the PR firm. However, in most cases, the PR challenge at hand is something that began long before within the organizations. The best brands are built from the inside out. In both of the recent cases in the news lately (nationally and locally), had better employee training been in place, there wouldn't have been a PR crisis to manage.
In the Starbucks incident, they smartly posted a video from the CEO within 24 hours of the incident. Within 48 hours, an action plan was in place. To some extent, a movie was playing in the minds of many consumers in America which included a narrative that was damaging to Starbucks. The company immediately responded by saying essentially this was wrong and we take this incident seriously. So seriously that we are closing down every store in America to train employees so this never happens again. As one writer noted, it was Spielberg level storytelling. It stopped the mass exodus in its track and kept many customers in play. They also provided leadership to countless other brands who may face similar challenges.
So what can a company do to protect itself?
- Understand there is a larger narrative happening in the world that puts every organization, leader and business at risk.
- Assemble your crisis team now. Who has the authority to respond? How will you respond? Who will vet the comments? What is expected of every person on the team? In many cases with regards to social content, we have a Google doc that is shared among the crisis team members. Every word is scrutinized.
- In most cases, you can identify potential crisis now and write position statements in advance. This is the best time to write and think through your response....when there isn't a crisis.
- HR needs to be at the table too. It needs to be crystal clear what is appropriate and inappropriate communication for all staff.
Locally, a well known restaurant came under fire on social media. Creative Company was interviewed to provide a perspective on what a business owner can do in a similar situation. Read the Cap Times Article >>
“It used to be your local news station or newspaper told you what was newsworthy,” Gallagher said. “Now every individual has their own channel and their own audience and can influence and share.”
For more information, you can reach Laura Gallagher at 608-442-6336 or by email at email@example.com. Laura will be speaking about Reputation Management in the Digital Age at Wegner CPAs Faith in Numbers conference on October 30, 2018.
Congratulations Bright Child Learning Center!
You may have caught this story on the business page of the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal or on NBC 15 with Leigh Mills! Bright Child Learning Center's expansion and grand opening was a big hit! Many community leaders were present as the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon! Bright Child tripled their size with the addition of a new wing and a full building remodel. More information can be found on their website.