Each day we wake up with controversial topics being discussed, sometimes contentiously, on the news or social media.
As a result, is there more talk around the office about the news? Do the comments reflect differing opinions? Or are they showing similar sentiments?
If so, should your company also have a reaction or take a stand? Consider following some of your employees' leads on issues and think about whether your company should make your thoughts on the issue official. Showing your company's conviction is an excellent way to highlight your company's vision.
Increasingly, companies have been choosing to speak out in support of or against a controversial social, economic or political issue. And, when asked, millennials frequently say they will buy from companies whose opinions reflect their own. Interestingly, though, when companies take a stand on ideas or topics about which their customers care, it fosters an emotional connection. It can help to build current customers' loyalty and encourage potential customers to give their products or services a try.
To start, consider whether this even makes sense. Is the topic one that is related to your business or affects your customers? Will it benefit your business or will it just be a wash? What would the consequences be? Focusing on how the situation is relevant to your business will most likely keep you from saying something for which you are sorry. When you are promoting fire or flood insurance, for instance, consider taking a stand and promoting it. Talk about helping families who are displaced by fire or flooding.
Although every issue/topic can have its naysayers, some topics are less potentially toxic than others. For example, consider lead in water or eliminating tobacco; these probably won't inspire controversy. Find ways to bolster your topics; use a story about the now-healthy children in an area where the water was cleaned up or talk about the residents in a town where the people who stopped smoking have taken a new lease on life and also started a campaign to help others. Start by giving them a shout out on social media.
Remember, that although all of today's controversies may be great to banter about with friends or family, they may not be so much for your business. Like every other business decision, these are ideas that require thought before action. Think twice, write once.
Even if your company ends up doing nothing, thinking about it may have been a worthwhile exercise. No business today is an island. The path to success has to take into account a wide range of issues, stakeholders and content. And remember, social media has to be included in the mix. It helps you know what your customers are thinking.
Not sure if you are ready to become an activist company? That's where our team can help! We'll work with you to strategize topics and create content that will engage your audience and deliver results. Call us at 302.454.7901 to get started.