Community relations refers to the various methods companies use to establish and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in which they operate. Building local community relationships can be the most important communication activity undertaken by an organisation, yet it is often overlooked.
In today's environment of public suspicion, gaining and maintaining public consent to operate has become a major concern for most businesses. Managers are advised to initiate community outreach programmes in areas consistent with their DNA.
For example, a company which produces or sells sports gear should think about “adopting” a school and contributing to the school’s sports department or perhaps donate gear to a neighbourhood football team.
Initiatives such as these can boost a company’s image in the eyes of the public who are potential customers. It is for this reason that a company uses these PR tactics. The company develops relationships to help foster its good name while the community receives support from its initiatives.
Communities also appreciate the fact that they can rely on corporations to assist in community
development programmes; after all, the community was there before the business and sees it only fair to reap some of the benefits.
The underlying principle of community relations is that when a company accepts its civic responsibility and takes an active interest in the well-being of its community, it gains a number of long-term benefits in terms of community support, loyalty and the fostering of good will. This, in turn, will help to raise awareness of the company’s products and/or services.
A solid, comprehensive community relations programme can help virtually any organisation achieve visibility as a good community citizen. For companies looking to implement or improve your community relations, contact us at PRMR Inc. so that we can discuss strategies best suited to your organisation.
Remember, Public Relations is not centred on what you or your employees think of your company but how the public perceives your company.