We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s who you know, not what you know.” So true. Today we are announcing that the dominant firm in Palm Beach, the O’Donnell agency, is joining rbb and it wouldn’t have happened if not for the Chamber of Commerce.
While participating in a webinar at the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches I mentioned to the coordinator that we are always looking for talented people and I was hoping to accelerate my firm’s growth in Palm Beach by adding in an existing firm. I asked her to keep her ears open. Less than five months later she called me with an opportunity and three months later the deal was signed. No business brokers necessary! Proof positive that networking delivers.
As PR and communications professionals, we advise clients on the value of community and civic engagement. Below are three benefits that come from smart civic and community engagement:
Positive Brand Identity
This one is obvious. The more involved you are in your community the more positively impacted your brand identity will be. rbb is a known name in working with national and local organizations, chambers, and non-profits. Don’t define your community just by geography, but don’t ignore your back yard either. By engaging locally, you not only get the brand, sales and recruitment benefits, you are making a difference where you live as well as work. Don’t we all want to be part of helping and making decisions that matter?
Growth + Recruitment
Growth comes in many forms – rbb has continuously grown as an agency, both organically and through strategic acquisitions and mergers. Yes, we have strong glass door reviews and a great reputation for flexibility, but more often than not our new employees come to us from networking contacts. Every one of the five firms that have joined us over the last decade also came to us through civic and community engagement. Making sure all your contacts know what your business is seeking as well as paying if forward to help others with their growth and recruitment needs makes a fabulous circle of success, but also, a team.
The most common reason shared for networking and community engagement is business development. While it absolutely does help build your business this is often a long-term play not a short-term gain. In fact, in 2020, 42% of rbb’s new business came from some sort of civic or community engagement connection. I also suggest you avoid the “always selling” mentality. Recently, I was connected with another CEO about some PR/Media help. After an overview of the situation, it was clear that a proactive campaign wasn’t necessary, and it would be better to keep a low profile and just have a press release at the ready. When asked, if I could handle it, I replied there was no need to hire us for such a small thing and once his people wrote it, I’d be happy to review it as a courtesy to the person who connected us. The CEO was appreciative and knows he can trust us to be honest and caring of his business needs.
I’ve seen personal benefits as well from civic and community engagement – everything from helping people find internships for their children to inviting them to events around passion projects and I haven’t even begun to discuss the impacts on our community – helping at-risk students thrive, creating affordable housing, supporting those in medical/economic need etc. Do you have insights to share around how your business or personal life has been impacted by civic involvement? Or questions on best practices and getting started? Reach out to me via LinkedIn or email – I’m happy to connect and discuss.