Communicating to your customers what your company stands for is another element of building your brand. Remember: If you don’t tell your story, then who will?
The NACS Public Relations Toolkit is a great resource to use for telling your story. The NACS Public Relations Toolkit gives you the resources you need to launch your own publicity efforts in your community, from how to write a press release and crafting talking points to how to pitch an interview and inspire great media coverage. By implementing some basic public relations strategies and gaining some additional exposure for your efforts, you will be able to more successfully attract consumers to your store, increase sales of your marketed items and improve the reputation of your store and your brand.
Corporate Non-Financial Reporting
The tide is changing and company stakeholders and especially customers, want to know what companies are doing, what they stand for and their goals in order to be strong corporate and neighborhood citizens. Whether this information is housed online on corporate webpages, in a simple PDF available for download, or a thorough report done in-house or with a consulting company, consider creating a collection of non-financial corporate efforts in helping to tell your story.
Corporate responsibility reporting is becoming a standard practice for large and mid-size companies. According to KPMG’s Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017, “around three quarters of the 4,900 companies studied” issue corporate responsibility reports. They found that global regulations are beginning to emerge for globally-traded companies to issue such reports in addition to standard financial reports. These reports, however, could contain more than just statistics, but emphasize the impact on society and community.
Regardless of company size, you can tell what you’re doing in community (donations, events), with people (jobs, benefits, career growth), for the planet (sustainability plans, energy saving, recycling efforts, packaging commitments, product sourcing), with food (healthier options, wellness efforts) and with anything else your company and employees are proud of.
Here are some retailers who have reports in various format:
Share your story online and through social media to make sure your community is aware of the hard work and philanthropic efforts your company and your employees are engaged in.
- Be sure to keep your website updated. Kwik Trip shares the company’s community initiatives, and Wawa’s Foundation has its own website.
If you’re offering direct help in the form of food or giveaways, be sure to alert those groups and agencies nearby that will benefit. Also, add information about your local products or support activities to Google, Yelp and other such listings so that customers can find you.
In-store marketing is a great way to boast about your philanthropic efforts, community sponsorships and other types of involvement so that customers will know the good work you’re engaged in. You can post signs and posters inside your store, at the pump and on trash receptacles, if appropriate, about what you’re doing and who you might be working with. Other ideas include:
- Hang signs or plaques that you receive from community partners in a highly visible location.
- Give customers an idea of your success (“Partnered with Farm since 1989” or “300 pounds of apples sold since 2012!”)
Writing and distributing a press release is an effective way to get your message out to your local media or on social media. The message is largely the same, whatever the medium.
If you launch a program, partner with an organization or host an event, a well-written release helps explain your story. Give your local media news they can use and you will not only generate publicity for your company today, you’ll also become a trusted source who reporters will turn to again and again. Refer to the NACS PR Toolkit for a how-to guide on creating a press release and who to send it to, such as:
- Local media outlets (TV, radio, newspapers big and small), free community newsletters, community-based websites and influential bloggers
- NACS (email@example.com) and industry trade press