No one has an unlimited advertising budget, and the times you need more marketing are usually those when the bottom line is getting tight. The key to great public relations without spending a lot of money is investing your time and knowledge instead of your cash.
PR isn’t designed to pull in immediate customers. Instead, it’s meant to make your business well-known and respected in your community, making it the first business that comes to mind once a contracting need arises. Giving to the community can improve your reputation while adding to your company’s bottom line.
Building Trades Classes
Trade schools are growing in popularity, especially among families that can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars each year for their children’s education. Many high schools are offering trade classes to give students a solid start in their trade career, such as cosmetology, auto mechanics and plumbing. Offer to sponsor and teach a building trades class at your local high school. Between classwork and hands-on work, students can build a complete house during the school year, and the profits from the sale can be donated to local housing charities after paying off the costs of the home.
In many communities, the local parks are far down on the priority list when it comes to discretionary spending. Talk to the city council and offer your services in building new facilities if they’ll pay for the materials. Once the castles and play houses are built, add a small plaque announcing your company’s name as the donor builder.
Contact your local school board to find out about career day. It’s usually held in either elementary or middle schools, when children are still figuring out what they want to do in the future. Work up an interesting presentation, including some hands-on projects, to make an impression on the kids. Make sure your logo is prominent on all the projects, since they’ll be going home to be shown to parents.
Are there ramps and other easily accessible entrances to all the public buildings in your community? If not, offer to build them free of charge for your city. Libraries, senior centers and other public buildings will be more useful for all the citizens if it’s easier for them to use them.
Offer to build walking trails and exercise stations behind senior centers and other city buildings. Healthy living is a priority for more people than ever and offering an easy way to work out is a great way to give back to the community.
Habitat for Humanity is probably the best-known building charity in the country and they’re always eager for volunteers, especially those who know what they’re doing. Send a crew to help out once a month when they’re building homes in your area. Local businesses will get to know you as a business that cares, while you’ll get a great feeling of accomplishment by helping those truly in need.