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Read Will Gruccio’s Op-Ed in SNJDC

The world has changed as we know it and so has the way in which we conduct business. Companies big and small, whether their focus is B2B or B2C, are refining the way in which they interact with clients, employees and the community. Our firm has always stressed the need for a strong community relations plan to our clients, and working with them through the development and implementation. However, now it is more apparent than ever that our encouragement needs to turn into a mandate.

Community…We all say it, but what is it? How do we add value to it? How do we gain value from it?

A community can be where you live, work, or a shared vision between like-minded individuals. It is the backbone of our personal and professional lives and impacts us all daily, which is why any disruption is felt so strongly. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that people are committed to the betterment of their communities and a need for a strong voice within that community.

As we recover and contemplate future operations, business owners need to make sure they are contributing too, have a voice in, and are strategically aligned with the communities to which they belong. Take a hard look at your organization’s commitment and contributions to the community and establish a clear plan moving forward. Whether it be through volunteerism, more effective communication with stakeholders, and/or philanthropy, make sure that your business and brand become a recognized leader within the community.

Being strategically engaged will bolster employee morale, increase your brand visibility, and strengthen the impact of your voice, while positioning your business as a leader in an ever-changing world. The planning should center around how you can add value. Ask yourself the following important questions:

Do you have a clear message?
What is your mission and how does helping your community fit into this? Who is your audience?

What Strategic Partnerships will be beneficial?
Do other businesses or local organizations have synergies with your goals? How can you partner?

How can you Give Back?
Consider partnering with a non-profit, municipalities, or local schools to be an agent of change and make a long-lasting impact.

A community relations plan is a fluid document that should constantly be reviewed and updated. A strong plan will integrate components of your company’s marketing strategy, long term financial goals, and views on corporate citizenship. I think you’ll find that creating a plan will lead to meaningful discussions, immediate action, transformation in your community and, most importantly, give you and your team a great sense of fulfillment.

William M. Gruccio, President, Renati Solutions,