Have a cause that’s close to your company’s core values? Follow these six tips to publicly support a cause without a causing a crisis.
Many businesses face intense scrutiny when they publicly support a cause, often being accused of having ulterior motives, or even being manipulative or misleading.
For example, companies that highlight their green initiatives may be called into question about the extent of their sustainability. Others that highlight a great working environment may be under fire for overseas production. The list is endless of the potential public relations crises that can occur if your support of a cause is not communicated effectively.
Below are a few tips to keep in mind when your business is supporting a cause publicly to help prevent any public relations issues and demonstrate your company’s authenticity:
1. Accept that publicly supporting a cause is inviting the public to examine other aspects of your business, including your labor practices, green initiatives, healthcare support, etc. If your company has any controversial topics within these areas, develop key messaging to address questions that may be brought up.
2. Don’t be defensive. Expect that people will have questions regarding why you are supporting this cause, and some may even be suspicious of how this public support of a non-profit is driving your company’s bottom line. Answer questions truthfully, but don’t downplay your passion and personal tie to the cause as well.
3. Acknowledge that your company is not perfect, but that you are making strides to make things better by supporting your specific cause. You can always do more, but you can do less too.
4. Make the personal connection to that cause. Explain why this specific cause is important to the company, and make the connection obvious to the cause.
5. State what you hope to accomplish by publicly supporting this cause, and give the public and employees alike a common goal to work for. If your business achieves the goal to help a cause, it demonstrates the company’s integrity in supporting this cause.
6. Be appreciative of those who help you achieve the company’s goals for the non-profit organization, including media who have spread awareness, the non-profit organization who has agreed to partner with you, and the company who has been dedicated to supporting the cause.
Publicly supporting and giving back to a cause as an organization is a great way for companies to humanize the brand, and add brand equity by building their company identity with public support of cause. But the best part of all is that your business gets to give back in a big way!