Richard Steckel, author of Making Money While Making a Difference, believes that strategic philanthropy strengthens a company’s brand image by connecting with consumers’ personal value systems. Steckel calls this “the halo effect.” “Consumers have a wealth of new products and services to choose from, and it’s tougher than ever keeping them loyal,” says Steckel. “Consumers are starved for evidence that businesses stand for something meaningful, and look for behavior that reflects those values.”
Like the Industrial Age, the Conversation Age (often referred to as Web 2.0) requires businesses to change and recognize that the status quo is unproductive and unacceptable. If your company is to remain competitive, increase market share and grow its business, the time to reinvent yourself is now. That means it’s time to invest in social media, specifically blogging, and add it to your marketing and branding toolbox.
One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails that will boost your business. There is an invitation to speak at a local group comprised of your best prospects. Several emails have arrived from people who’ve “heard of you” and inquire about your services. There is a message from a potential joint venture partner who has invited you to be a guest on a teleconference that will reach 500 people, all of them prospects. Later that day, a journalist calls. She wants to write a story about your business, which she heard about on a radio interview you gave weeks earlier.