Updated: Dec 3, 2019
If you are running a business then it may be worth considering how you business connects to community. Not only is this a marketing discussion it is a strategic discussion (and of course the two are linked).
Linking with community
There are many charitable business organisations e.g. Rotary, Lions, etc and many more who encourage businesses to support their local communities, charities and voluntary organisations. However you don't need to belong to one of these wider network as linking with local communities can be done very easily though your own social media by creating fundraisers, volunteering days, donating good resources, providing expert advice for free and so on. When done with good intent working with the community can form part of your overall marketing strategy. Beware tokenism though - it is easily spotted and will backfire on you.
The key to embedding community outreach within a marketing strategy is to ensure that any community linkages are rooted within your own organisation's, vision, mission and values. Practice what you preach. Having explicit, written down values and a clear mission statement will help everyone involved in your business (employees, suppliers and clients) understand what you are about. Your organisation will have values. They may not be explicit. The first step is to write them down and ensure they are known. Once this is done it is becomes much clearer on how to become involved in the community by linking with people and organisations with similar values, promoting those values and building relationships. This longer term view of your business will build trust with employees, customers, suppliers and community and will spill over into investing into your brand identity.