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Community Involvement as a Means of Promoting Small Business

Congratulations on being a successful small business owner with great clients and awesome employees. Your team does a great job and you want to get the word out about what you do better than anyone else. You have done standard press releases previously and had some success, but now you want to really get noticed. Did you know that getting your company involved in the community not only makes the world you live in a better place, but it’s also more likely to get you noticed in the press?

Reasons for Corporate Volunteerism

  1. Team Building– Working together for a common cause makes for happy, committed employees. They know that the company is not just about the bottom line.
  2. Loyal Customers- Continued community involvement proves to customers that the company is in it for the long haul. The company wants to be around for awhile and, therefore, makes an effort to better their local area.
  3. New Business- Word of mouth is huge for small business. Build your company’s reputation not only on great products and work ethic, but also on active volunteerism. Word will get out about what sets you apart which equals new customers.

Once you’ve started getting involved or if your company has been for a while, now is the time to put together a press release about what you have been doing. There are lots of tips about writing great human interest stories, but remember these steps:

  1. Keep the headline short, factual, and interesting. So instead of “Local Plumbing Company has Celebrity Fundraiser to Purchase Bicycles for Children”, try “Murphyville Plumbing Donates 100 Bikes for Kids after Celebrity Fundraiser.” The second headline gives more detail while reducing the number of characters, as most headlines should be between 60-80 characters.
  2. Lead with the most important information. Reporters and journalists still follow the 5W content pyramid, where the most important information is at the top. It is followed by less important information and least important information. So start with the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of your story, otherwise known as the lead of your story.
  3. Include a quote. Have someone from the community that benefited from your work say what it meant to them or have a higher-up give a quote about how it brought the corporate team closer together. Keep it short and contextual. Place it in the body of your press release, not in the lead.
  4. Boilerplates and Contact Information. The end of your press release is where you put the description of your company and how reporters can get in touch with you if they have further questions. This is not the time for a long-winded description; make it short and snappy.

Helping to build a better community is a true testament of a great company. Now is the time to share that with your neighbors and your customers, both new and old.

Ever had to write a press release like this? What are your thoughts?

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About the Author

Mickie E. KennedyThis article was written by Mickie E. Kennedy, founder of eReleases.  You can read more of his advice and PR perspectives on his blog, PR Fuel.

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