Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not business as usual. Altruism rules the day. It’s not that we weren’t looking out for each other before the crisis began. But now it’s everywhere. And that’s a good thing! Each of us can point to stories about individuals, families, companies and organizations pitching in to help.
How can your brand contribute to this outpouring of selflessness?
Cause marketing is in the spotlight now more than ever.
I love the example set by the Boston Beer Company. They established the Restaurant Strong Fund. Here’s how they describe it: “Samuel Adams, with the support of the Greg Hill Foundation, is donating over $2,000,000 to kick start the Restaurant Strong Fund across 20-states to aid restaurant workers affected by COVID-19 closures.”
Numerous other consumer brands have stepped forward. There is a running list of brands that are offering discounts and free products to healthcare workers on the front lines from Under Armour to Crocs to Hertz to name a few. Milwaukee-based Good Land Wing Company is donating meals to first responders and healthcare workers each week. What’s cool is they offer their customers the opportunity to pitch in on the donations, making it a genuine community effort.
Money and discounts aren’t the only things being given. Katt Construction, Urban Creative Concrete and Gleason Redi-Mix gave their time and donated material to the Racine Police Department to form and pour a concrete slab for Officers John Hetland and Jennifer Diener’s memorial.
Sign Effectz, Inc., a Milwaukee area sign manufacturer, quickly jumped into producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for its employees when the outbreak started. The company owner bought clear plastic material and is producing face shields for the crews that are in the field installing new signs.
Can you find a way for your business to give to the folks that need it most?
You need to consider two things about cause marketing. One critical factor is that it has to be genuine. The second is that the company’s brand and the charity’s brand have to align. That means their values have to be in sync.
Giving advice is free. And many businesses have idle workforces. An effective strategy in this situation is to train those workers who have extra time on their hands. Fill their excess capacity by making them smarter. Why not offer your expertise and help train less experienced members of the workforce? You’ll have to do it remotely, but that’s what Zoom is for!
I’m impressed with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). They’ve been proactive in keeping the business community well-informed. Their daily webinars are only 19 minutes long. However, they pack each one with information that busy business leaders can use to navigate these uncertain times. Staying updated from reliable sources will help you be of value to your colleagues and employees.
PARTICIPATE IN SOCIAL MEDIA
If you’re a business person without social media skills, now is the time to learn the basics. It’ll enable you to make positive contributions to the collective conversation about coping with the pandemic. At a bare minimum, use social media to scan and read helpful content.
In my opinion, some of the best social media posts since the outbreak started are those that offer constructive ways to make the most of working remotely and maintaining good mental health.
How can you contribute to the well-being of others? The above ideas are meant to stimulate your creativity. Pick one of them, set a personal goal and jump into this shared experience we’re living through.